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George Washington University, School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Health Policy


This brief summarizes key opportunities helping the nation’s newcomers in gaining health insurance coverage and health access that are possible under the current law. Provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will help millions of legal immigrants gain access to affordable health insurance coverage. At the same time, however, immigrants will also face new responsibilities. Like citizens, lawfully present immigrants will be responsible for having health insurance coverage or paying a tax penalty, although some are exempt. Rules about immigrants’ access to health insurance benefits are often complicated because they depend on specific immigration categories, as well as eligibility for other insurance programs.


This report was partially funded with support from the Commonwealth Fund. All views expressed are the author's and should not be interpreted as positions of the Commonwealth Fund or the George Washington University.

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