Issues: Access to Health Care
MIRA is the statewide leader in advocating on behalf of immigrants' access to affordable healthcare in the commonwealth and in making sure that they are included in healthcare programs that their tax dollars help to pay for. We also work with healthcare providers and other stakeholders to ensure that language access and other barriers are not impeding immigrants' ability to access healthcare. MIRA is present at every step through Massachusetts and the Nation's Health Care Reform implementation to advocate for access to affordable and adequate health care for the immigrant community.
MIRA's Current Agenda for Health Care:
Restoration of Commonwealth Care Coverage for Legal Immigrants
One of MIRA's top priorities in the FY12 budget is full Commonwealth Care restoration for legal immigrants, mostly green card holders for less than 5 years. (Also known as aliens with special status, or AWSS). MIRA works to ensure immigrant taxpayers have continued access to quality and affordable coverage at a broad range of health care providers.
CommCare Bridge (the temporary program for AWSS) is currently funded through June 30, 2011.
Outreach and Enrollment
Although Massachusetts has the highest rate of insured, more than 100,000 are still uninsured, many of whom are immigrant children and households who are unaware of their eligibility or face language and other barriers. MIRA advocates for outreach about state program and eligibility to immigrant communities, especially low-income parents with young children, pregnant women, and individuals who are otherwise not covered by employer-sponsored insurance.
MIRA advocates for the sustained funding of the MassHealth Outreach and Enrollment Grants (FY11 State Budget Outside Section 155), which is distributed among 50 community organizations and health centers, and is crucial to helping residents (depending on their eligibility) access programs such as Commonwealth Care, CommCare Bridge, Children's Medical Security Plan, and MassHealth. In uncertain economic times, it is critical for families to enroll and stay enrolled in affordable health insurance programs. Outreach and enrollment funding are crucial to health reform's continued success.