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Health reforms will impact Florida's undocumented immigrants

Many individuals in the United States have been living without health insurance. Undocumented immigrants are not an exception. The changes made to the health care system in the recent reforms included in the Affordable Care Act will definitely have an impact on many Florida residents. The undocumented immigrants residing in the state will likely not be a part of that group however.

Despite not being addressed in the health care reform, undocumented immigrants will most definitely feel this change once the program is in full swing. The Urban Institute believes that these individuals will constitute approximately 25 percent of the country's uninsured population. That is expected to make them the second largest group of uninsured people in the nation.

So just how will the changes to insurance impact undocumented immigrant? The answer depends, in part, on the state in which they reside.

As citizens of the country will be expected to purchase affordable health insurance, the amount of funding hospitals will receive to cover the costs of uninsured patients will be reduced. Because undocumented immigrants will not be allowed to purchase the affordable insurance, they will still rely upon that funding to help cover medical bills. States with a disproportionately large number of undocumented immigrants, like Florida, will find that they will be splitting a smaller amount.

Though it is possible that some states will be eligible to receive addition Medicaid funding it is not a requirement that the state accept the money. Undocumented immigrants should be aware that Florida is one of the states indicating that it does not want additional money.

The upcoming changes to health care throughout the nation provide yet another reason for those who may be eligible to change their immigration status to explore their options. An immigration attorney can assist with matters such as this.

Source: WLRN, "Why The Health Care Law Might Leave Florida's Undocumented In A Lurch," Ashley Lopez, Dec. 17, 2012

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