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Health Care Partly Restored For Mass. Immigrants

This article is more than 10 years old.

Massachusetts state health care coverage for 31,000 legal immigrants will continue despite deep budget cuts.

They won't receive dental or hospice care benefits and will likely pay higher premiums or co-pays. The state budgeted $40 million for 31,000 legal immigrants using the state health plan, down from $130 million the year before.

"Given the limited resources we tried to preserve the services we know this population has been using," Gov. Deval Patrick said during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

The new, reduced plan for legal immigrants will start on Oct. 1, one month after their existing Commonwealth Care coverage ends. The group will have to use the health care safety net during the month of September.

The 31,000 legal immigrants will get insurance through a new provider called CeltiCare.

Lindsey Tucker, health reform policy manager for Health Care for All, said she worries about "glitches" with a new company, but is pleased that all 31,000 immigrants will get "what seems like comprehensive coverage."

This program aired on August 31, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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