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The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010 and immediately provided ben
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The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010 and immediately provided benefits for legal immigrants and student and work visa holders as well as all those legally present in the USA. Even the subsidies available to individuals and families whose income makes them eligible are available to legal immigrants through the ACA Marketplace. Health insurance for elderly immigrant parents over 65 who would not be eligible for Medicare are able to purchase health coverage on the open market during the five year interim between arrival and Medicare buy in available after that time.
All insurers who provide ACA compliant policies available in the Marketplace are required to verify the citizenship status of the applicants, but once verified acceptance is assured. These programs are notable in that they cannot disqualify the individual because of prior conditions and must accept all applicants. Even those who are here on temporary visas for study or work can obtain policies through the ACA Marketplace. In addition, health insurance for pregnant immigrants may qualify for CHIP and Medicaid programs which are jointly operated by the federal and individual state governments may provide their benefits to legal immigrants.
For those recent entries or those whose status changes outside of the open enrollment periods for ACA plan, special enrollment periods are available through documentation showing eligibility may be required. Short terms health quotes are not ACA compliant and so anyone with a prior condition, unlike ACA plans, can be denied coverage. Information about health care for immigrants who are here under legally present status can be found at HealthCare.gov. This federal website has all of the most current information for legal immigrants and those whose status is legally present. Individual state websites may also contain information of value to the new immigrant.
Currently there are no health insurance plans available to those in this country without legal immigrant status. There are however some states which are offering programs to cover children regardless of their legal status. Illegal immigrants cannot obtain health insurance through the ACA as their status must be that of a legal immigrant to obtain coverage.
Short term health plans are another option for the immigrant unable to afford an insurance plan through the ACA Marketplace. These plans offer protection from catastrophic expenses linked to an accident or illness. Though less expensive these plans do not usually cover any wellness care, doctor’s visits, and preventive injections. They do cover vaccinations most ER and hospitalizations after a significant deductible is paid. Available for periods from 1 month up to a year (3 in some states) they are an option for immigrant’s heath care.
As of this writing there is current litigation in federal courts regarding the concept of “public charge” which makes low income immigrants not only ineligible but reluctant to apply for subsidies to pay for health care due to their income placing them in the category of being burdens on the system because of their poverty. The issue is unresolved at this writing.
The correct information on health insurance for those legally present, immigrants and work or student visa holders is important. One source for health insurance information from the internet is ConsumerCoverage.com. This website will enable you to find information, insurance professionals to give advice and free comparative quotes for the information you need.
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