February 21, 2024

By Nada Hassanein, Stateline.org

Gabriel Henao fled Colombia to flee a guerrilla group who, he stated, twice threatened to kill him. After a while in Mexico, he arrived in Colorado in July 2022, settling in Fort Collins.

His extreme abdomen ache began when he was in Mexico, he stated. It was debilitating and left him bedridden for days at a time. The ache continued to plague Henao in the USA, however he stated he didn’t make sufficient cash cleansing homes to pay for medical health insurance.

Colorado didn’t provide Medicaid protection to residents residing within the nation with out authorized standing corresponding to Henao, or to immigrants within the obligatory five-year ready interval after receiving their inexperienced playing cards. With out protection, Henao couldn’t get a correct checkup, he stated, not to mention a analysis or remedy for his abdomen ache.

That modified initially of January, when Henao acquired care by means of Colorado’s OmniSalud program, which supplies well being care protection to low-income immigrants within the nation with out documentation. When this system began accepting enrollments in 2022 it lined 10,000 individuals with out requiring them to pay premiums, and this yr Colorado expanded the variety of zero-premium slots to 11,000.

Alianza NORCO, a nonprofit group that helps immigrants in northern Colorado with authorized and different sources, helps Henao acclimate to the U.S. and assisted along with his utility to the OmniSalud program.