Report Highlights Implications of ACA Among Immigrant Communities

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthA report released last week by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois highlights the implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) among immigrant communities. The report is titled “Affordable Care Act Implementation in Illinois: Overcoming Barriers to Immigrant Health Care Access.”

Illinois is home to 1,754,808 immigrants, 785,705 of whom are naturalized U.S. citizens (45 percent) and an additional 963,103 are either Legal Permanent Residents (55 percent) or undocumented. Non-citizens are there times as likely to be uninsured as U.S.-born residents. An estimated 539,931 immigrants (30 percent of total uninsured population in Illinois) are uninsured and about 259,073 (48 percent) are eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The report found that immigrant families face numerous barriers to accessing existing services, including language, literacy and cultural barriers; complexity of the application and eligibility requirements; logistical and public education barriers, to name a few. The report highlights the model developed by the Immigrant Family Resource Program, a partnership between ICIRR and Illinois Department of Human Services. Authors of the report are Director of Immigrant Family Resource Program Luvia Quinones, Director of Illinois Immigrant Integration Institute Abdelnasser Rashid, and Donna Gerber, vice president, public affairs and community investment at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. For more information, visit

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