Executive order stops short of insurance for immigrants illegally in U.S.

President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration reform stopped short of offering healthcare coverage to people who are in the U.S. illegally, but the action should make it easier for them to obtain insurance, according to Politico.

Obama's plan, explained the Washington Post, would offer "administrative relief" and work permits to such people who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, as well as to young immigrants brought to the United States illegally.

All told, the plan would affect 4 million immigrants who are in the country without legal permission. While they will remain ineligible for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act, they no longer face a deportation risk--provided they pass a background check and pay taxes, according to the White House.

As a result, Politico said, they may be able to take regular jobs that do offer healthcare coverage. In addition, legal immigrants who have eschewed insurance, as well as immigrants who are not in the country legally but are hesitant to enroll their U.S.-born children, "may feel more comfortable signing up for subsidized Obamacare coverage," Politico said.

This sentiment is especially true among Latino Americans. Most uninsured Latinos are eligible for Obamacare coverage, FierceHealthPayer previously reported, but they have been hesitant to sign up. Bringing more Latinos into Obamacare remains a priority for the 2014-2015 enrollment period, Politico noted.

Though the executive order doesn't itself provide insurance, coverage extensions for immigrants who are in the country without legal permission could be on the horizon. Several states provide Medicaid coverage for children who lack documentation, while California is considering extending health insurance to more than 2 million residents without proper documentation.

To learn more:
- read the Politico article
- check out the Washington Post article
- watch the video of the President's address

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