By Marianela Toledo | Florida Watchdog
MIAMI — Thousands of children born in the U.S. with parents who are undocumented immigrants probably go without health insurance.
“We tell them not to be afraid to register their children, that we will not share (their) personal information with anyone else,” Karelia Stanford told Florida Watchdog. Stanford is one of several Certified Enrollment Consultants working at the Doris Ison Community Health Center in south Florida.
About 575,000 children — or 13.5 percent of Florida children — are uninsured, according to the American Academics of Pediatrics. The majority are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Many of the children are offspring of undocumented parents who shy away from enrolling in anything involving the government. They worry someone will share their personal information with other government agencies, including immigration officials, and that they could be deported.
The fear of being discovered means countless children end up in emergency rooms simply because their parents waited too long to seek help.
According to a study of 23 states in 2005, uninsured children visiting an emergency room accounted for 8.6 percent of the total.
“From a policy perspective, the insurance gaps for citizen children in immigrant families are distressing, since they are eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP and are a major target of outreach campaigns. The insurance coverage of U.S.-born children of immigrants has fallen in recent years.” Ku and Matani said.
Their study noted that children in non-citizen families had less initial access to ambulatory medical and emergency medical care and, even when they had access, often received less care.
Another problem involves dental health. A study in Washington state showed a trip to the ER was the first “dental visit” for one in four children overall and for roughly half the children younger than 3 1/2 years old.
The Doris Ison Community Health Center has a lot of experience in helping these people.
“Here we work a lot with seasonal farm workers and migrants who are undocumented. We serve (everyone) without asking about their immigration status,” said Tiffany Helberg, spokeswoman for the health center.
None of this was lost on the people who work at the Academy of Pediatrics. The academy, in an open letter to the U.S. Senate, warned about the unintended consequences of health-care reform and the enrollment requirement as requisite for seeking care.
“As advocates for the children we serve, we urge you to maintain protections in the bill against immigration enforcement actions occurring at sensitive locations such as schools and healthcare facilities as the bill moves forward. Health care facilities should be seen as a safe space for children and their families. To accomplish this neither medical nor health care facilities records should be used in any immigration enforcement action.”
The academy also considers the immigration bill a “missed opportunity” that should have been designed in such a way to ensure that every individual, especially children, are covered.
“As children health experts and advocates, we remain concerned that the legislation does little to address the multiple barriers to accessing comprehensive, affordable, and culturally and linguistically effective health care services faced by many children in immigrant communities.”
According to the nonprofit Child Defense Fund, 7.2 million uninsured children in America are uninsured. Every 70 seconds a child is born uninsured, and each day 1,208 more are born without health coverage.
Contact Marianela Toledo at [email protected] twitter @mtoledoreporter
What do you think? Vote now:
- Obamacare compliance means less money for TN service agencies
- The mystery of Obamacare spending in Arkansas
- Obamacare raises questions for MD small business owners
- Kansas official on Obamacare: ‘Let someone else be the guinea pig’
- Obamacare insurance marketplace has plenty of kinks on first day
- OR’s Obamacare insurance marketplace hits technological snag
- Fail: Day 1 of the New Mexico Obamacare rollout
- Senator asks: Do you want this dysfunctional government taking over health care?
- Jobs, coverage at risk with Obamacare, MN union health official says
- Oregon’s Obamacare ads resemble middle school art
- VIDEO: Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act: Comedy triumphs in court of confusion
- Patience is key to navigating Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace
- Hawaii residents, lawmakers frustrated with health connector glitches
- Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
- NM’s health exchange tries to lure ‘young invincibles’
- Obama drama: Senator blames governor for big rate hikes
- Progressive group navigates Oregon students through Obamacare
- Maddening: Trying to log onto federal health care site
- You know that one guy who successfully signed up for Obamacare? He didn’t
- What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working
- HHS Secretary Sebelius back in FL after embarrassing Obamacare rollout
- Health centers enroll Floridians in Obamacare as application problems persist
- VIDEO: Stewart skewers Sebelius on Obamacare
- Obamacare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
- Obamacare: Children of undocumented parents face an uncertain future
- Which way do we go? Obamacare navigator registration in TN in question
- NM health exchange tries to ease problems with Obamacare website
- CPA says hype over Obamacare small business tax credit is misleading
- Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant
- Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee
- After two weeks, FL online Obamacare enrollees are hard to find
- Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid
- Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators
- WI health care exchange seeing few getting through
- Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange relaunches with more glitches
- We’ll know next month how many people in NM signed up for Obamacare — maybe
- Zero: Number of Nebraskans Obamacare navigators have signed up
- It took this Delaware woman 11 days to sign up for Obamacare – and she was the first
- How many people have signed up for health insurance in VA? Who knows?
- What else? NM federal health exchange ads stalled due to website problems
- Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with Obamacare glitches
- If Obamacare is the next Medicare, will physicians leave en masse?
- Three problems that won’t be solved by fixing the Obamacare exchange glitches
- Plenty of Oregonians interested in Obamacare, but none can enroll online
- Criticize this: Obamacare premiums a near match to WI disclosures
- Report: Missourians will see sharp rise in premiums under Obamacare
- Kansas navigators say they’ve enrolled no one in Obamacare
- Obamacare too costly for rich Coloradans, Democrat congressman says
- Study: Kansas premiums to spike following Obamacare rollout
- Hang on to your candy: Creepy Uncle Sam is back
- Obamacare or bust: NM Watchdog turned back again
- Medical journals, experts refute claim that Medicaid cuts ER use
- Arkansas spends $4M on Obamacare ads, wants more
- LOL: In July video, HHS bragged about being ‘on schedule’ with Obamacare
- Illinois uses Day of the Dead to market Obamacare
- Sebelius denies GOP’s Terry ‘unreliable’ Obamacare info
- About 290,000 Washington residents lose health insurance plans
- Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans
- Top hospitals opt out of Obamacare
- Obamacare moves to intensive care
- Obamacare provision could lead to more Medicaid fraud
- Obamacare: Religious groups want to ‘move mountains’
- Obamacare hitting Wisconsin residents with double whammy
- Kansas AG: Obamacare threatens consumer privacy
- 1,500 in New Mexico have to move out of the high-risk insurance pool
- Cover Oregon website fiasco creates jobs, but costs millions
- For Florida’s Obamacare small business exchange, it’s crunch time
- Only 877 Wisconsinites have signed up for Obamacare, federal report says
- Just 172 in NM have completed Obamacare applications: ‘Woefully inadequate,’ says NMIX board member
- With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘Obamacare debacle’
- Defying Obamacare: ‘Send them the bill,’ NM insurance official says
- Kansas Obamacare enrollment dwarfed by nearly 20,000 cancellations
- Numbers don’t lie: In Illinois, Obamacare means Medicaid
- Wisconsin governor proposes insurance plan to address Obamacare rollout failure
- Tennesseans might know Tuesday if they can keep canceled health insurance
- People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail
- Calif. says ‘no’ to Obamacare freebies, makes own law
- HI health exchange violates federal law, League of Women Voters say
- Obamacare video winner: ‘Forget about the price tag’
- Harvard study finds ‘striking’ rejection of Obamacare by young Americans
- HI health exchange has signed up 574 people, for about $348,000 apiece
- Are the uninsured getting Obamacare coverage in Illinois?
- Secret Obamacare handbook the feds don’t want you to see is online
- Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA
- HI Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told
- Illinois’ latest Obamacare targets: gold diggers and momma’s boys
- Now Democrats are bashing California’s Obamacare exchange, too
- Obamacare: For $1.37M we get Richard Simmons in lurid web stream
- Obamacare: A welcome mat for IRS horrors
- California senator seeks audit of state Obamacare exchange
- Report: Hawaii ranks worst for Obamacare signups
- CA senator sues Obamacare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
- Failure of Maryland Obamacare exchange could mean higher premiums in North Dakota
- Video: Watch Creepy Uncle Sam make it rain
- Five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures
- Obamacare architect admitted in 2012 states without exchanges lose subsidies
- Architects of Richard Simmons Obamacare dance-off rehired in $156M PR campaign