Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Implementing Health Reform in New York: Maximizing Coverage for Immigrants

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

October 20, 2011








New York State is home to a large immigrant population; noncitizens (both lawfully present and undocumented) are three times as likely as citizens to lack health insurance coverage.

However, the immigrant population in New York will face uncertainties and challenges as the State implements health reform under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are gaps in ACA provisions regarding the inclusion of immigrants. To address this issue, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), in partnership with the Empire Justice Center, comprehensively assessed areas of flexibility under the ACA and determined how immigrant inclusion can be achieved under existing State statutes and Federal guidance.

Specifically, NYIC: Shaped the State’s definition of “lawfully present” to ensure the broadest possible inclusion of immigrants under the ACA; developed mechanisms for verifying citizenship and immigration status while protecting confidentiality and due process; reviewed best practices in New York and other states to address the ACA’s communication assistance requirements; developed guidance to ensure that immigrant exclusions built into the individual market within the exchange are not carried over in the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP); and recommended areas for data collection to reduce health disparities.

Read the report associated with this grant, “Maximixing Health Care Reform for New York’s Immigrants.”