The White House announced a plan last week to extend Medicaid and Affordable Care Act healthcare coverage to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients.

Key Points:

  • In a statement, the White House said the Department of Health and Human Services will soon propose a rule amending the definition of “lawful presence,” for purposes of Medicaid and Affordable Care Act coverage, to include DACA recipients.
  • The proposed rule is expected by the end of April and, if finalized, would make DACA recipients eligible for Medicaid and Affordable Care Act coverage for the first time.
  • Under the proposed rule, DACA recipients would be able to apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, where they would be able to qualify for financial assistance based on income, and through their state Medicaid agency.
  • In a fact sheet posted online, the White House reiterated its support for DACA, calling on Congress to pass legislation to protect Dreamers and providing DACA recipients a list of available resources, including social services, educational resources, job opportunities and tax credits.

Background: The Biden administration published a regulation to “preserve and fortify” DACA in August. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is weighing the legality of the regulation after it ruled in October that the Obama administration did not follow proper procedures in creating DACA in 2012.

Currently, the Department of Homeland Security continues to adjudicate renewal applications (both DACA and employment authorization) and advance parole requests for existing DACA recipients; the agency remains prohibited from granting initial DACA requests and accompanying requests for employment authorization. Given the uncertainty around the litigation, individuals who are eligible to renew their DACA and related employment authorization are urged to do so as soon as possible.

BAL will continue to monitor the ongoing litigation and will provide updates on important developments related to DACA. For more information, visit BAL’s DACA Resource Center here.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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