• January 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 1

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Health-Care Reform and Immigrant Families

The landmark health-care reforms delineated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152), also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), focus on alleviating the disparities in access to and quality of health-care services for vulnerable and underserved U.S. populations. The Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health (TA Partnership) published an issue brief that addresses how the ACA's provisions impact specific health-care issues faced by immigrant children, youth, and families in the United States.

The brief touches on some of the specific problems related to the U.S. health-care system that the ACA seeks to rectify and goes on to discuss in detail how ACA provisions address these issues, including projected timelines and particular health-care benefits, such as insurance and essential health benefits, as well as coverage expansion. However, there are provisions related to eligibility for immigrants that will affect many children, youth, and families residing in the United States, many of whom may have come from life experiences that have impacted their mental health. For example, the ACA provides legal permanent residents and refugees with the same benefits as U.S. citizens, and this will include access to mental and behavioral health services through the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). However, undocumented children, youth, and families will not have access to these public health-care services and will not be able to purchase health-care coverage through the insurance exchanges. The brief also addresses a number of key health equity provisions and includes a glossary of ACA terminology.

To read Health Reform and Immigrant Children, Youth, and Families: Opportunities and Challenges for Advancing Behavioral Health, visit the TA Partnership website:

http://www.tapartnership.org/docs/Health_Reform_Immigrant_Children.pdf (889 KB)

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