Expanding Health Care Coverage



Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage


August 16, 2018


Although health insurance coverage has expanded in New York State, a significant group of residents has been left behind: immigrants. Home to one of the largest and most diverse immigrant populations in the country, New York State has nearly 2 million residents who are noncitizens (lawfully present and undocumented), many of whom lack health insurance coverage. Without coverage, many of these immigrants left behind by the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance expansion would continue to turn to emergency rooms and public hospitals.

NYSHealth set out to address the insurance needs of immigrants without health coverage through two projects: The Community Service Society of New York examined the costs and feasibility of three insurance options for undocumented immigrants in New York State, whereas the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs connected undocumented New Yorkers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to State Medicaid coverage. The report explores the genesis and outcomes of both projects, along with the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in working to extend coverage to undocumented populations.