FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2014
Adela de la Torre, [email protected], 213-400-7822
NILC: Immigrant Families Won’t Be Penalized for Affordable Care Act Glitches
Special Enrollment Period Will Allow Immigrant Families to #GetCovered
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration provided guidance Wednesday clarifying that certain individuals who tried but were unable to sign up for health coverage by March 31 would be eligible for a special enrollment period, allowing immigrant families who were shut out of the system due to technical glitches more time to purchase the coverage they need. Those who are eligible for the health care program but do not purchase insurance will face a tax penalty. The following is a statement by Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:
“All people, regardless of where they were born or how much money they have, should have access to health care. Unfortunately, glitches in the online health insurance marketplace prevented many low-income immigrant families from being able to purchase this vital coverage for themselves or their family members. We are very pleased with the new guidance on special enrollment periods, which responds directly to requests the National Immigration Law Center and our allies have made of the administration. The much-needed guidance recognizes that for the first 5.5 months of Affordable Care Act open enrollment, many families were simply unable to purchase the insurance they needed and these families should not be penalized for these technical errors.
“The administration must now do all it can to inform eligible immigrants that they have more time to enroll. Incomplete or misleading information by opponents of the program created unnecessary fears about purchasing insurance through www.healthcare.gov, and every effort should be made to reassure those who are eligible that they now have more time to sign up for affordable health care.
“Finally, as with all policies, details matter. Any opening of the enrollment period will be useless unless and until all the technical glitches immigrant families currently face are fixed. We stand committed to partnering with the administration and key stakeholders to ensure that every eligible family can get covered, and we will continue to fight until they can purchase the insurance they need.”
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More information about Affordable Care Act programs and issues is available here.