Washington State Community Engagement Advisory Committee
The Washington State Health Care Authority is leading the creation of a Community Engagement Advisory Committee to help guide future work around the expansion of health care coverage for undocumented individuals.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange and Washington Department of Social and Health Services are helping solicit participation from organizations that work with undocumented populations.
Background Data on Immigrants and Health Care Access in Washington State
Immigrant populations in Washington state are diverse, varying greatly in country of origin, demographics, incomes, and employment types. Immigrants are integral to Washington’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all. Data collected by the American Community Survey (ACS) and analyzed by the Washington Office of Financial Management estimates over 105,000 of the state’s 465,000 uninsured state residents cannot currently access QHP coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder due to their immigration status – about 23% of the uninsured population in Washington.
For Washington State families, immigration and documentation status can be critical factors for health outcomes. The extensive stress and economic marginality in the life of an undocumented or mixed-status family impacts the nuclear family system. Poverty and instability affect families’ ability to access health insurance and to build stable ties with healthcare providers. Such effects are compounded in mixed-status and undocumented immigrant families because undocumented immigrants are not eligible for public benefits such as access to health insurance, cash assistance programs, food, or housing assistance. Restricted access is associated with poorer health outcomes.
Access to Health Care Insurance
Inadequate health insurance coverage is one of the largest barriers to health care access, and the unequal distribution of coverage contributes to disparities in health. Lack of health insurance coverage may negatively affect health outcomes, and uninsured adults are less likely to receive preventative services. Expanding access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare coverage for undocumented immigrants is crucial to achieving racial equity, and it is an important step toward reducing health disparities.
Participating organizations will be required monthly to attend two meetings (90 minutes each) and have the capacity to share the information and feedback opportunities highlighted during those meetings with their community and other organizations in their networks. Compensation will be provided (amount to be determined).
The following information will be used to determine final selection of organizations with the goal of ensuring as many of Washington’s diverse immigrant communities are represented.
Include the following with your interest email:
- Name of your organization
- Geographic area your organization serves
- Populations served
- Languages spoken by community members
How to Participate
Organizations interested in participating in this intra-agency advisory committee should email HCAAppleHealthExpansion@hca.wa.gov by end of day Friday, September 29, 2023.