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Affordable Care Act

Resources and information related to the Affordable Health Care Act particularly related to immigrants and refugees.

Health Reform and Immigrants and Refugees

Know Your Rights:  Is it safe to apply for health insurance or seek health care?

Since the 2016 presidential election, questions have arisen about whether it is safe for families to apply for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces, Medicaid, and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) if they include members who are not authorized to be in the U.S.   The National Immigration Law Center has provided a fact sheet with information that all families should have when they apply for and enroll in health insurance programs or seek health care services.  

How Health Reform Affects Immigrants & Refugees

In 2014, the new health reform law will help both U.S. citizens and immigrants considered to be “lawfully present” in the U.S. “Lawfully present” immigrants include lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders), work authorized immigrants, and certain other people granted permission to live or remain in the U.S. (such as refugees, asylees, and certain nonimmigrant visa holders).  Undocumented immigrants will not be eligible for new insurance coverage opportunities through the Affordable Care Act.

Websites with Information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

  • Healthcare.gov:   This is the site managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services as a resource for health care consumers to find insurance options, get help using insurance, understand the rights and protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, and learn about preventive and wellness services
  • The Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center (RHTAC) has a information about the ACA and how it will impact refugees.  
  • The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has produced a six-minute video introducing the Health Insurance Marketplace to refugees.  The video is available in six languages:  English, Arabic, Kinyarwanda, Nepali, Squaw Karen and Somali. 
    Link to the ORR site with the videos and additional information.

    There is also a "Refugees and the Affordable Care Act" resource guide that has recommendations for sharing the video and sample communication messages.  This guide is intended for refugee service providers, health care providers, and other public health professionals who work with refugees in the U.S.

Washington State Health Care Information

Washington State Health Care Exchange:  This is the main site in Washington State for health care sign-up.  Also on the site: