Are Undocumented Immigrants Allowed to Purchase Health Insurance through the Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges? – NO


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1312, page 64, "Consumer Choice," signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at the Library of Congress website, states:

"(3) ACCESS LIMITED TO LAWFUL RESIDENTS.—If an individual is not, or is not reasonably expected to be for the entire period for which enrollment is sought, a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States, the individual shall not be treated as a qualified individual and may not be covered under a qualified health plan in the individual market that is offered through an Exchange."

Mar. 23, 2010 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) (2MB)  



PRO (yes)


[Editor's Note: Based upon a neutral reading of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and bi-partisan third party analysis, this question seems to have a clear and obvious Con (no) answer, and ProCon.org has therefore presented the responses in a single column with no opposing perspective.]




CON (no)

The National Immigration Law Center stated the following in its Jan. 2014 publication "Immigrants and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)," available at nilc.org:

"UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

No federal coverage.


Not allowed to purchase private health insurance at full cost in state insurance exchange(s).
  • Not eligible for premium tax credits or lower copayments.

  • Exempt from individual mandate.

  • Not eligible for Medicare, nonemergency Medicaid, or CHIP.

  • Remain eligible for emergency care under federal law.

  • Eligible for Emergency Medicaid if low-income.

  • Citizen or lawfully present children of undocumented parents are eligible:

  • - To purchase from the state insurance exchange.

    - For premium tax credits and lower copayments.

    - For Medicaid or CHIP.

  • May seek nonemergency health services at community health centers or safety-net hospitals."




James R. Edwards Jr., PhD, Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, stated in his July 2010 article "The Medicaid Costs of Legalizing Illegal Aliens," available at www.cis.org:

"The recently enacted health reform law, in part, expands eligibility for the Medicaid program. Illegal aliens remain ineligible for Medicaid beyond emergency services. However, this could change if they are legalized."




The California Immigration Policy Center (CIPC) stated in its Apr. 4, 2012 report "Making the Affordable Care Act Work for Immigrants in California," available at its website:

"The Affordable Care Act explicitly excludes unauthorized immigrants from the federally funded Exchange."