This week, New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage ("NYFAHC") and the New York Immigration Coalition (the "NYIC") jointly published an issue brief co-authored by Mark Scherzer and Jenny Rejeske, examining health coverage for immigrants in New York.
The work was funded by a grant from the New York State Health Foundation, which contemplates the publication of several issue briefs. Over a third of immigrants are uninsured, and immigrants — including those with serious illnesses and disabilities — account for one quarter of all the uninsured in New York. The issue briefs will examine various existing barriers to coverage and opportunities to lower those barriers and increase immigrant coverage.
This first brief analyzes the major proposals for expanding health coverage submitted during the Partnership for Coverage process initiated by the Governor in 2007, and those which are currently being modeled by the Urban Institute for the State. It concludes that while none of the proposals would be likely to diminish immigrant coverage, none of them adequately addresses the barriers which uniquely affect immigrants. If special provisions are not included in the design of any coverage expansion plan, immigrants are likely to remain disproportionately uninsured, and the goal of achieving truly universal coverage will remain out of reach.