Undocumented Immigrants Urged to Sign Up for Health Insurance

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – As the February 15 deadline approaches to sign up for affordable health care in California, certified counselors encourage families of mixed immigration statuses to apply.

Covered California counselors have found that many families are discouraged from applying due to fear of exposing members who are undocumented.

“The family can still apply for health insurance or see what programs they qualify for and they should have no fear of their immigration status being used against them in any way,” said Covered CA certified counselor Fatima Bustos. “Everything is confidential.”

Bustos said undocumented parents with children of legal status should still apply so at least their children can be covered and receive free preventive care.

While the undocumented cannot benefit from the Affordable Health Care Act, there still is a form of insurance they can apply for.

“We do have emergency Medi-Cal which wouldn’t be full scope Medi-Cal but it would be something you need to sign up for and again we wouldn’t share anyone’s immigration status with any other agency,” said Bustos.

One undocumented Filipino, who chooses to remain anonymous, applied to take care of his family and to avoid an audit on his taxes.

“I don’t blame a lot of people like me,” he said. “They’re scared. Just give it a try. At least it’s going to benefit you in the future especially with the executive order.”

Filipino counselors are on hand to make kababayans more comfortable sharing their information, especially their immigration status.

To find the nearest certified Covered California counselor or events in your community, you can visit www.coveredca.com.

(Source: Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau)

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