Nicole’s (she/her/hers) work will center on implementing state-funded healthcare coverage and advocacy for further coverage through direct client representation, community education, and public policy reform.
Federal law excludes undocumented and other non-citizens from the essential protection of healthcare. Despite advancements in state-funded healthcare coverage for immigrants, issues pertaining to the enforcement of these expansions remain. Systemic problems within the enrollment process, such as documentation requirements and other bureaucratic roadblocks, prevent many from receiving their benefits. These populations are also the object of unfavorable political discourse, which engenders communal fear and mistrust of the government, which, in turn, inhibits those eligible from acquiring healthcare coverage. In addition to continued advocacy to win further healthcare expansions, our immigrant populations need legal representation in administrative proceedings to assert their healthcare rights. In order to empower our most vulnerable populations, direct representation of clients navigating enrollment issues, community outreach, and education on the expansions are necessary.
During her Fellowship, Nicole will offer direct representation to clients navigating the enrollment process for healthcare expansions already in place. She will provide public education to explain the healthcare programs and expansions while countering community confusion and fear. Additionally, she will engage in advocacy to remedy certain systemic aspects of the enrollment process and the quality of the package of covered health services. Finally, Nicole will engage in policy work and advocate to win further expansions.
Growing up as an immigrant, I understood what it meant to be in a population denied the same rights as U.S. citizens. The Healthy Illinois Campaign’s mission to win comprehensive healthcare for immigrant populations is a fundamental step towards achieving greater racial and social equity.
Nicole Camargo Almeida /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow