Uninsured immigrants will continue to put pressure on safety net hospitals in the US, says report

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 19 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5200
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Undocumented immigrants who would not be insured under the Affordable Care Act will continue to put financial pressure on many US safety net hospitals that will have to cover the cost of the immigrants’ uncompensated care, a new report has concluded.1

The Affordable Care Act specifically excludes undocumented immigrants from its provisions, making these people ineligible for coverage through Medicaid or for purchasing insurance on the new health insurance exchanges, even if they pay full price.

Because of the law, few undocumented immigrants will obtain coverage, although some will get it through their jobs, as employers respond to the act’s incentives for them to offer insurance to their workers, says the report, prepared by researchers at the …

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