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Here’s how it works if you’re undocumented and need health care

Steven Wallace, professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and associate director of the Fielding School’s Center for Health Policy Research, was interviewed by NPR about health insurance for undocumented immigrants. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Many of the candidates competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination support the provision of health coverage to undocumented immigrants. People in the country illegally are, for the most part, barred from enrolling in Medicaid or Medicare. They can’t buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace because that would be publicly subsidized.

But if an undocumented person can afford it, they can purchase their own, unsubsidized insurance.

“There is nothing illegal about selling private health insurance to people who are not in the country with authorization,” said Steven Wallace, professor of community health sciences at UCLA.

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