The Biden administration has approved the expansion of health insurance for all residents of Washington state as they have waived the immigration status requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury Department recently approved the measure for a State Innovation Waiver, issued under section 1332 of the ACA. These requests can be filed by states if they wish to follow “innovation strategies” which would allow them to provide affordable healthcare.
The HHS Secretary is able to approve the 1332 waiver request if the proposed plan will be able to provide the same coverage that would have been provided to those without the waiver.
Washington state sought a specific exemption from the part of ACA that stops illegal migrants from being able to benefit from health plans. These plans are certified by the federal government and are in accordance with the ACA requirements.
The two departments who filed for the waiver explained that this move would allow them to provide health equity regardless of immigration status, and could reduce the racial disparities people faced in health coverage. They added that these waivers would not lead to any additional costs for those who are currently a part of the program.
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