Posted on by Anastasia R.

As an immigrant in the United States, specific situations will have an impact on whether you are eligible, for what type of plan you are eligible (if you qualify), and whether or not you may actually be required to have a health insurance plan. Your legal status will have everything to do with whether or not you qualify for health insurance. And if you’re working in the U.S. but you don’t qualify, do you have options when it comes to health insurance for immigrants?

CHIP, Medicaid, and DACA

When applying for health insurance, DACA (or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is not currently an eligible immigration status. Before trying to access CHIP or Medicaid coverage, immigrants who legally reside in the U.S. must, according to federal law, wait five years before applying. In many cases, even these immigrants (who legally live here) will not qualify for those coverage plans. In some states, there is no waiting period for children and/or pregnant women. Additionally, some states offer state-funded programs for DACA-eligible individuals. When applying, either immigration documentation or a social security number are needed.

The Affordable Healthcare Act

The Health Insurance Marketplace states that immigrants that are undocumented cannot purchase health coverage through the marketplace. Nor do they qualify for plan savings or premium tax credits. For documented individuals, however, it is another story.

If You Just Got Your Green Card

Should you be arriving soon to the U.S. and have just gotten your green card, Short Term Health Insurance or New Immigrants Health Insurance will give you coverage that is temporary during your move here and while you get settled in. Here are some choices: HCC STM, Inbound USA, and Inbound Immigrant.

If You Live Permanently in the U.S. and Have a Green Card

Under the Affordable Care Act, you are required to have health insurance. You may have missed the cut-off date, so you will need to apply as soon as open enrollment is available again. In the meantime, in order to be covered for emergencies and other healthcare issues, you may want to apply for a plan which qualifies as short-term health insurance.

If You Have a Green Card and Travel Back and Forth Frequently

There are visitor’s plans or immigrant plans that you may be able to purchase. Requirements by the Affordable Care Act might not apply if you spend more than 330 days outside of the U.S. Again, Inbound Immigrant and Inbound USA may have the plan you need in this situation.

Even if you have not quite received your green card yet, but you are in the process, Inbound USA, Atlas America, and Liaison International may be able to provide you with a plan for visitor’s health insurance. Google “Obama Care for Green Card Holders” for more information.

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