DACA recipients of deferred action and health insurance

A recent question came into this firm about the coverage available to DACA recipients; grantees who applied for and received deferred action under the DACA program.  As it turns out, there were changes in 2012 to the federal Affordable Care Act to exclude DACA recipients from affordable coverage.  A report published by the National Immigration Law Center is repeated below, and indicates the changes to the law were put into place to deliberately exclude most recipients from health insurance coverages, if not offered privately by an employer.  This is consistent with the push to de-fund and limit programs like Medicaid and Medicare for undocumented individuals, but seems in direct contradiction to the legal residency of DACA recipients.

The result is that most DACA recipients must seek coverage from other sources like private employers or agreements with an insurance company, and cannot apply directly to the federal exchanges for health insurance information.  However, Colorado operates its own independent health insurance exchange: and legal immigrants are allowed to apply for state benefits after a five year residency period (see Denver Post article) and there may be an argument for allowing DACA recipients to apply for the state insurance exchange policies available in Colorado.

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