A fact sheet published by the White House today announced an initiative that would eventually allow DACA recipients to apply for Medicaid benefits and buy health insurance & qualify for subsidized Marketplace insurance.

The fact sheet says the president is directing the US Department of Health and Human Services to propose a rule amending the definition of ‘lawful presence’ for purposes of Medicaid and ACA Marketplace coverage, so it includes DACA recipients. The change in definition is what would trigger the potential benefit for DACA recipients.

DACA is an initiative of the Obama Administration that lets people who were brought into the country illegally as children avoid deportation. About 580,000 people are eligible for DACA and about 34% of them are uninsured according to an HHS estimate.

This initiative won’t take place immediately… HHS still needs to write the regulation and promulgate the rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act. Also, because Medicaid is a shared program between the state & federal government, states would presumably need to elect to cover this population.

In Arizona, I think that would mean AHCCCS would need to apply for an 1115 Waiver or a State Plan Amendment first. I don’t know whether AHCCCS would need authorization from the state legislature or not.