Are There Free Health Care Services for Immigrants in Texas?

Texas is one of the 37 states in the United States where immigrants need not pay anything for their health care services. These states include:

Of these states, Vermont and New Mexico allow free treatment only to those who were born on American soil. Other than that, all other immigrant groups will have to provide their funds for any medical emergencies they might encounter.

All hospitals are required by law to report suspected immigration to prevent fraudulent activities such as double registration of births and citizenship claims. You can also inquire an immigration law firm about the rules.

Local County Indigent Programs

According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s website, “immigrants can receive hospital care through local county indigent programs” if they do not qualify under Medicaid or Medicare assistance plans but still cannot afford healthcare coverage.

Most people think that only illegal immigrants are entitled to free healthcare, but this is not true. All immigrant groups including legal immigrants have equal eligibility for government-sponsored health care programs in which the federal government pays the cost of these services.

As of 2012, about 1.4 million uninsured people are living in Texas who do not qualify for either Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). Of this number, “49% (about 694,000) were unauthorized immigrants” and “51 percent (about 710,000) were US citizens.”

Among those eligible for health care under Federal programs such as CHIP and Medicare, more than 80 percent belong to families with incomes below 200% of the poverty level and more than half live in homes where family members have at least one full-time worker.

Texas: Its Growing Immigrant Community

Texas is home to the most immigrants from Mexico, totaling more than 1 million or about 27% of all foreign-born individuals in Texas. In 2000, there were also about 245,000 Vietnamese immigrants and 135,000 Chinese immigrants living in Texas. The state has a growing immigrant community through both legal and illegal means.

Texas immigration laws are among the harshest in the country since it penalizes hiring undocumented workers or renting them a house for their residence. People who immigrate to child labor are also restricted by these regulations even if they came to America legally with documents sponsored by family members already settled here before them.

Because of this, the majority of immigrants living in Texas reside in cities where there are fewer border workforce restrictions. This is why immigrants in Texas are largely concentrated in the major cities. There are plenty of immigration law firms that can give you more context about this.

Charitable Work for Immigrant Mothers

About 10,000 children were born annually to undocumented parents who do not have health insurance coverage for their babies. However, the risk of having an uninsured baby does not end with childbirth since most women go back to work after six weeks or two months of maternity leave depending on their personal preference.

With no income and limited access to Medicaid benefits, these families are forced to spend more on medical bills when their newborn becomes ill or has contracted illnesses that require expensive medication or treatment.

Many uninsured infants will die during childhood due to lack of vaccines despite being only three months old at the time they can receive full immunization to protect them from potentially deadly diseases. You could also talk to an immigration attorney regarding these concerns.

Because of this, several non-profit organizations have come up with a variety of charitable work to aid immigrant mothers and their children in the state. One such organization is Community Health Choice, which offers services including prenatal care, dental care, and diabetes checkups for free.

Other groups include Proyecto Juan Diego which helps Spanish-speaking women access breast cancer treatment at no cost, the STI Check Program that provides free testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at various community clinics throughout the state, and Mothers Without Borders which assists expecting mothers who do not have health insurance coverage during pregnancy.

Texas Bills for Health and Immigration

According to some reports by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the “Texas Legislature has considered at least five bills related to health and immigration in 2013.” This includes a bill that aims to prevent illegal immigrants from accessing publicly funded services, which would also include emergency medical assistance.

Another bill would require state hospitals and local jails to report arrestees suspected of being undocumented immigrants. The latter is supposed to be beneficial for law enforcement agencies but could place immigrants’ safety as well as the lives of their family members in jeopardy.

If deported without warning after getting arrested for doing something like jaywalking minor traffic violations or engaging in other petty crimes such as fighting over parking spaces during rush hour. If you need help you could always contact an immigration lawyer in Texas.

Emergency Medical Services for Immigrants

Currently, there are no requirements for hospitals or other medical providers to ask patients about their immigration status before providing them with treatment. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law that requires hospitals to provide emergency medical treatment regardless of the patient’s immigration status.

This means that they cannot deny or delay treating people who urgently need immediate care due to their immigration status when in life-threatening situations like stroke, heart attack, miscarriage, accident, etc.

Immigrants residing legally in Texas can receive the same benefits as US citizens by having their names added to health insurance plans under insured family members’ coverage. Undocumented immigrants can also get free preventive care services funded by the state through the Women’s Health Program (WHP).

These programs are only available for women between 19-44 years of age who are either legal or illegal residents of Texas and who would like to get free or low-cost healthcare and family planning services. Reach out to immigration attorneys to find out more.

For this service, women must not be eligible for Medicaid or other similar federal programs such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). However, they can still enroll if their household income is lower than $214 per month as of 2013.

Agreements With Private Hospitals

Aside from these benefits, immigrants residing in Texas legally under a non-immigrant visa can also receive medical treatment by agreeing with the private hospital where they will be treated at.

If this is done, they will have to pay 100% out of pocket for any medical expenses incurred during their stay. This means that hospitals are not required by law to them with free care even though they have been legally admitted into the US.

Immigrants from Mexico and Central America who live along the border states of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona can also ask for free health care services if they are willing to undergo a medical exam at designated mobile clinics in their area.

This program is called “Zona de Salud” (ZONE Health) and currently operates in eleven cities: Austin (2 locations), Corpus Christi (2 locations), Dallas (3 locations), El Paso, McAllen (2 locations), San Antonio (2 locations), Brownsville, Harlingen (2 locations), Laredo, Rio Grande Valley-Weslaco Area; it provides eye exams, check for tuberculosis and other chronic disease, and blood pressure tests to uninsured families.