Health Insurance Exclusions

All over the Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie areas and even out in Weatherford in Parker County, are immigrants. What many people fail to understand because of all the media coverage on illegal immigration in the United States, is that there is a large and growing number of legal immigrants in our country.
A newspaper in Massachusetts recently ran an article about health insurance and legal immigrants. The newspaper was The Boston Globe. The title of the article is “Immigrants Sue State Over Exclusion From Health Care”.
The State of Massachusetts, prior to 2006 provided health care to legal immigrants. According to the article, in an effort to save money, the legislature voted to eliminate coverage to about 26,000 immigrants. About a third of the money cuts were restored and the immigrants were given a stripped down health care plan with significantly higher copayments for medications and other treatments.
Since 2006, more than 8,000 more legal immigrants had become eligible but were denied coverage. The reason for the denial of coverage was because the same law that restored the third coverage also capped future enrollment.
This insurance is called Commonwealth Care. The state’s Connector Authority and its executive director, Jon Kingsdale, are named in a lawsuit, accusing each that they violated the immigrants’ right to equal protection under the state and federal constitutions when the administrators cut coverage in the Commonweath Care program.
The article in the Boston Globe gives two examples of legal immigrants being effected by the state’s denial of health insurance benefits. The first example is a 51 year old immigrant from Zimbabwe with college degrees in psychology and business management, who was a project manager in London before coming legally to the United States. She was denied coverage in the Commonwealth Care program and she suffers from oral health infections, vision loss, and kidney and heart problems.
The second example is a legal immigrant from the Phillippines. She is a licensed architect with a master’s degree in building science. She has breast cancer and is unable to find cancer specialists from the list provided to immigrants in the state’s stripped down health plan.
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalitions is attempting to assist in the lawsuit.