El mercado de salud y los impuestos

By Equipo Buenas Finanzas

Durante la temporada de impuestos VITA Latino 2023 varios clientes compartieron su interés en conocer más sobre el acceso a un seguro auspiciado por el Mercado de Salud (www.HealthCare.gov o www.cuidadodesalud.gov ) y como puede afectar sus impuestos.

Dada la importancia de contar con un seguro médico en los Estados Unidos, además de cumplir con el deber ciudadano de pagar impuestos, decidimos consultar con los expertos del programa de acceso a la salud, “Health Insurance Navigator”, en el Centro de Apoyo Legal de Charlotte.

En el siguiente video, entrevistamos a Natalie Marles, supervisora del programa de Navegadores de Salud. Ella responde a preguntas como: ¿Qué es el mercado de seguros y quiénes califican?, ¿Cómo afecta mi seguro médico a mis impuestos? Y más importante, ¿debo tener alguna precaución al adquirir mi seguro médico?

Algunos de los puntos más importantes a destacar son:

  • Las personas pueden calificar para un seguro médico asequible teniendo en cuenta el número de miembros de su familia, el ingreso que la familia reciba y si son fumadores o no.
  • Las personas que califican deben tener algún estado migratorio legible (proceso de visa, residentes legales, etc.) y no deben tener cobertura médica bajo ningún otro programa medico (como Medicare o Medicaid).

Read more at: El mercado de salud y los impuestos

As States Purge Medicaid Rolls, Legal Aid Groups Step Up

By Alison Knezevich

Read more at: As States Purge Medicaid Rolls, Legal Aid Groups Step Up

North Carolina resident Anthony Brooks spent the last few weeks rushing to schedule doctor’s appointments and procedures to treat his chronic heart problems.

The 57-year-old is set to lose his health care coverage through Medicaid at the end of the month, so he is racing to set up surgery to implant a defibrillator his doctors said Brooks needs.

“I can’t afford insurance,” said Brooks, who worked as a traveling home health aide for the elderly until he suffered a heart attack last September. “This is devastating to me.”

Meanwhile, in Florida, Gillian Sapia was shocked when her 5-year-old daughter Penelope’s occupational therapist texted her the day before a scheduled session in May to tell her Penelope was no longer covered by Medicaid.

Penelope, who has been on Medicaid her whole life, has a rare metabolic disorder called classic galactosemia, as well as other health conditions. After the message from her daughter’s therapist, Sapia began a frustrating pursuit to get answers from the state’s Department of Children and Families.

“I spent like a week trying to get somebody, and it was just hours and hours of phone calls,” Sapia said, only to eventually receive conflicting information.

Brooks and Penelope are among the millions of Americans who have recently faced losing their coverage as states have started to review eligibility for the first time since 2020.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government prohibited states from kicking people off Medicaid because of a “continuous coverage requirement” linked to the federal health emergency. But that requirement ended March 31, allowing states to once again start cutting Medicaid rolls.

Both Brooks and Gillian Sapia turned to legal aid organizations for help.

Across the country, nonprofit legal groups are working to raise awareness about the changes, help people appeal coverage terminations and educate beneficiaries about their rights.

Attorneys report that as states undertake the massive review, beneficiaries are experiencing confusion, difficulty getting answers and processing errors.

“This is a very complex process that states have to implement,” said Cassidy Estes-Rogers, an attorney and program director with the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, the North Carolina organization Brooks went to for guidance. As renewal paperwork has started to go out, “at the beginning of the month, we see a huge volume of calls with just absolutely confused people.”

As States Purge Medicaid Rolls, Legal Aid Groups Step Up

Long visa delays leave immigrant victims of crime in the lurch, argue NC legal advocates | WFAE

By Kayla Young

Read more at: Long visa delays leave immigrant victims of crime in the lurch, argue NC legal advocates | WFAE 90.7 – Charlotte’s NPR News Source

Two federal lawsuits originating in North Carolina could have national implications for immigrant victims of crime. Visa processing backlogs mean victims must wait years to access the immigration protections they need to assist in criminal investigations, and legal advocates say those delays violate the law.

More than 20 years ago, Congress established the U visa, a status designed for non-citizens who were victims of a serious crime, like human trafficking or domestic violence, while in the United States.

A major goal of the program is to assist law enforcement investigations by allowing cooperative victims to remain and work in the U.S.

But only 10,000 victims can qualify annually, and for years now, that cap has been easily met, explained Anna Cushman, an attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina and the Battered Immigrant Project.

“I think it shows that this is a successful program. Congress has created something that is incredibly useful for law enforcement, honors our humanitarian values as a country, and assists immigrant crime victims,” Cushman said.

That success has also meant a substantial backlog of U visa applications, translating into wait periods ranging from four to seven years in many cases.

“I’ve had a client die while his case was pending,” Cushman said. “If we think about all the things that happen in five years, if any of us thought about where we were five years ago, it’ll feel like a different era.”

As of 2021, more than 170,000 U visa applications were pending with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Legal Aid of North Carolina, North Carolina Justice Center, and Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy are now suing USCIS over that backlog in Nebraska and Vermont, where U visas are processed.

Long visa delays leave immigrant victims of crime in the lurch, argue NC legal advocates | WFAE 90.7 – Charlotte’s NPR News Source

Afghans in U.S. await stability and immigration answers | WFAE

By: Kayla Young

Read more: Afghans in U.S. await stability and immigration answers | WFAE 90.7 – Charlotte’s NPR News Source

A year after the fall of Kabul, Afghans who fled to the United States still face an uncertain future. Organizations such as the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy are now pushing for passage of the bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act and a pathway to citizenship.

When Taliban insurgents took control of Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, in August of last year, Bahroz Mohmand watched the news in disbelief from the United States.

The 33-year-old interpreter never expected to see his home country revert to Taliban control.

“I was surprised. I was pissed off. I was sad,” Mohmand said. “It was a very difficult situation for me to basically calm myself down because I was worried about the family.”

Mohmand moved to the United States in 2012 under a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), made possible by his work as a Dari and Pashto interpreter for the U.S. Army.

“I was born in war. I was raised in war. I never saw the good side of my country,” he said. “The only time that it was good was basically when from 2001, when the U.S. Army came until, you know, August 15 that everything collapsed under the Taliban regime.”

He is now a U.S. citizen. But for many of the 76,000 Afghans who fled to the U.S. in the past year, their immigration options are more limited. Many fear eventual deportation, including Mohmand’s niece, 17-year-old Tahira Askari.

Askari described the chaos of her evacuation in her native language, Dari. Mohmand interpreted.

“Everything was falling apart. People were running around stores. You could see families getting desperate, separated from each other. Everybody was heading towards the airport,” she said.

Askari and her family boarded an evacuation flight to Qatar, then Germany and eventually reunited with Mohmand in Charlotte.

Mohmand says for Askari, life under Taliban rule is a foreign concept.

Read more: Afghans in U.S. await stability and immigration answers | WFAE 90.7 – Charlotte’s NPR News Source