Some living here illegally will qualify for health care

first_imgSEATTLE — For immigrants living in the country illegally, the new health care coverage under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act will be simple: They don’t get any. In Washington state, however, some of those immigrants can still qualify for certain already-existing state health programs.Both immigrants legally in the country and those illegally here who qualify for state programs will be able to look up their eligibility through the web portal created by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.Those are a few nuggets of information in often-confusing health care facts the exchange is tasked with diffusing among minority populations in the state before enrollment begins on Oct. 1 for the expanded marketplace of health insurances.“We have to make sure 6.5 million people are aware of what’s happening,” said Michael Marchand, communications director for the exchange.According to U.S. Census figures, nearly half a million Washington residents over age 5 speak a language other than English and say they don’t speak English very well. More than 200,000 say Spanish is their primary language, but another 150,000 say they speak an Asian or Pacific Islander language.In all, people in Washington who don’t speak English well speak more than 150 different languages, not including dialects, according to the Census.State officials estimate about 1 million Washington residents are uninsured, or about one in seven people who live in the state. About a third of them will likely become eligible for free health insurance under the expanded Medicaid. The rest will be targeted by the state’s new health insurance exchange.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *