undocumented immigrants

Illustration: Ela Trujillo / WHYY/The Pulse

“I hope to extend my life as long as possible for the sake of my children.”

Jake Harper/Side Effects

This piece first aired on NPR's Latino USA

Margarita came to Indianapolis 13 years ago to help her sister, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. After her sister died, Margarita stayed, but then a few years ago, she began having health problems of her own. When she went to the hospital, she was told that her kidneys didn’t work anymore.

When The Cost Of Care Triggers A Medical Deportation

Apr 13, 2016

In an emergency, hospitals, by law, must treat any patient in the U.S. until he or she is stabilized, regardless of the patient's immigration status or ability to pay.

Yet, when it comes time for the hospitals to discharge these patients, the same standard doesn't apply.

Though hospitals are legally obligated to find suitable places to discharge patients (for example, to their homes, rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes), their insurance status makes all the difference.

Anna Frodesiak/Wikimedia Commons

Carla used to get dialysis a couple of times a week at the public hospital in Indianapolis, Eskenazi Hospital. She would sit in a chair for hours as a machine took blood out of her arm, cleaned it, and pumped it back into her body.

Then one day in 2014, she was turned away.  

    

 

Martin Machain has his eyes examined in a doctor's office.
Sonia Narang

When Martin Machain arrived to Los Angeles from Mexico years ago, he didn’t know where to turn for health care. Machain migrated to the US to escape poverty and change his life. But without insurance, it hasn’t been easy.


A California county voted Tuesday to restore primary health care services to undocumented adults living in the county.

Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco, joins 46 other California counties that have agreed to provide non-emergency care to immigrants who entered the country illegally.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

When 85-year-old retired farmworker and grandmother Amparo Mejia needed surgery on her spine because of a rare form of tuberculosis, she was able to pay for the procedure through emergency Medicaid. She was lucky. For many low-income immigrants – even those authorized to work in the US – it can be challenging or outright impossible to get health insurance.