Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.
An increasing number of uninsured, older immigrants are going to emergency rooms with strokes, heart attacks and other serious but preventable complications of cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study. Lack of health insurance may be to blame.
Older immigrants’ risk for cardiovascular disease may be higher among those who recently arrived in the United States, according to researchers contributing to the study published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship. Continue reading →
Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in outlets that include the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico and The Washington Post.
Photo: Susan Heavey/AHCJThe Hastings Center’s Nancy Berlinger discussed health issues that refugees and undocumented immigrants face in the United States at a #AHCJ17 panel that included Bassem Chaaban (right) of the Islamic Society of Central Florida.
For Ghassan, a Syrian refugee seeking asylum after arriving in the United States about two years ago, a recent visit to the emergency room was not a choice but a necessity.
Without access to health insurance coverage, the Syrian father who had fled the war there found himself receiving charity care following an accident. Later, problems with his knee again put him on the receiving end of care without coverage. He had worked for 20-some years in Syria, he said, but found it hard to work with his leg pain. Continue reading →
When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, Tammy Worth, an award-winning freelance health and business writer in Kansas City, Mo., was interested in how undocumented immigrants would fare under the new law.
She recognized that undocumented immigrants were ineligible for both of the main provisions of the law meant to extend coverage to 32 million Americans: the Medicaid expansion and the state insurance exchanges.
To fund her work, she applied in 2011 to the Association of Health Care Journalists for an AHCJ Reporting Fellowship on Health Performance, supported by the Commonwealth Fund. At the time, the fellowship program was in its second year of supporting journalists in their work reporting on the performance of local health care systems and the U.S. health system as a whole. In December 2011, she was named one of three fellows for 2012. (Note: Applications for the 2015 program are being accepted until Oct. 1.)
In 2012 and 2013, she focused her reporting on three areas: the economics of immigration, the effect of the law on providers and the health care community, and immigrant health stories.
We’ve posted a tip sheet from the National Immigration Law Center on how the Affordable Care Act affects immigrants. They let us put their guide on the site with one request – that we include their website and suggest that you check their site if you write on this topic in case there are updates.
There’s no sense in repeating what you can find on the tip sheet (undocumented immigrants don’t get covered, documented ones do under the circumstances described – generally, they can go in the exchanges with subsidies if they qualify but still face a wait to get into Medicaid). But it is worth addressing the nexis between the health law and the current debate over helping immigrants become documented.
The bill will go through changes before it passes – IF it passes (a big question mark, particularly in the House). But the key message from our perspective as health reporters: Given what’s been said so far by Democrats and Republicans alike, it is highly unlikely that undocumented immigrants will get health benefits WHILE they are going through what looks to be a multi-year process of becoming documented. However, once they are documented they will be treated like the rest of the documented immigrant population.