Now at more than 20% of the city’s population, Worcester’s immigrant community has grown exponentially over the last decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but holes in health insurance coverage are causing major disparities, as well as a growing burden on Central Massachusetts healthcare providers.

In the state of Massachusetts, 30,000 children and young adults under 21 are ineligible for comprehensive health coverage because of their immigration status, according to Boston nonprofit Health Care For All Massachusetts.

More than 1,600 of those kids also have disabilities.

“Even though Massachusetts was one of the first to create safety net programs that cover undocumented kids, other states have actually gone further and included them in their comprehensive Medicaid programs,” said Suzanne Curry, behavioral health policy director at the state’s HCFA chapter.

MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, covers 340,000 non-citizens, according to the agency.

This includes programs covering pregnant mothers with incomes under 200% of the federal poverty line and non-citizens with permanent resident status.

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