Washington State Gives Big Boost to Illegal Immigrants

The Biden presidency has granted Washington state’s request to waive Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations to increase access to health insurance for all citizens, despite immigration standing.

Washington received a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the ACA from the Ministry of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Treasury. This waiver request was made in May.

The Waiver and Evergreen State Outlier

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1332 waiver is available to states that want to experiment with “new techniques” for lowering the cost of delivering healthcare without giving up any of the ACA’s consumer safeguards.

To qualify for a 1332 waiver approval, a state’s planned healthcare plan must be at least as extensive as coverage given without the waiver, as was the case with Washington state’s proposal.

The Evergreen State’s outlier is that the federal government approves qualified health policies as meeting the standards set out by the ACA.

Washington state requested to be given an exemption from the provision of the ACA that prohibited those residing in the U.S. unlawfully from eligibility for such plans.

The two agencies claim this waiver will allow more people in Washington, irrespective of their immigration standing, to enroll in qualifying health plans, stand-alone eligible dental plans, and a state pricing program.

Basically, this might be a bad idea that would backfire.

The waiver, the agency said in a statement, will help Washington achieve its goals of enhancing health equality and eliminating racial inequalities.

This will happen by increasing the number of people who have access to insurance via the state’s exchange without raising premiums for those who are already enrolled.

This waiver can only be approved if the state agrees to a number of restrictions. If these conditions are met, the waiver will be in force from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2028.

White House officials highlighted in their approval that Washington state set aside fiscal 2023 funding for a state support scheme called Cascade Care Savings, even though the newly authorized waiver will not take effect until the following year.

Washington Health Plan Finder customers with incomes up to 250% of the federal poverty threshold are eligible for premium subsidies under this program.

This initiative has been allotted $50 million for the year 2023. If this waiver is granted, an additional $5 million in funding will be available for these subsidies starting the next fiscal year.

Similar Initiatives

In addition to Alaska, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and New Hampshire, over 20 more states have requested and been granted Section 1332 exemptions under the ACA.

The authorities typically cite insufficient information as the reason for rejecting applications.

Colorado followed the lead of Washington state and extended its low-cost healthcare program to illegal immigrants.

Despite the fact Colorado has been granted its own ACA exemptions, this extension to include inhabitants irrespective of their immigration status was accomplished through the state’s own initiatives and did not include federal assistance.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.