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Are illegal immigrants covered by ObamaCare?

Here's what you need to know...
  • US Citizens and Naturalized Citizens are covered by Obamacare and must meet the Individual Mandate
  • Immigrants Lawfully present in the US must meet the individual Mandate unless exempt
  • Undocumented Immigrants are not subject to the ACA, do not have to meet the Individual Mandate
  • Obamacare bars undocumented Immigrants from participation in Marketplaces

Illegal Immigrants are those who do not have a legal status in the United States. They are neither US citizens, nor US nationals, and not lawfully present immigrants. They are not required to buy health insurance under the Individual Mandate, nor are they subject to the penalty provisions for not having qualified health coverage. The Affordable Care Act bars persons who are not legally present in the United States from participation in its healthcare programs. For eligible immigrants, comparison shopping is the preferred method for determining the best health plan for an individual or family. Comparison shopping helps determine which plan has the best combination of price, value, and benefits. It is a customized approach that focuses on the priorities set by the subscriber. Compare health insurance plans now by using our FREE tool above!

The Individual Mandate

The primary mechanism for encouraging maximum participation in health insurance is the Individual Mandate and penalty. Everyone who must file a tax return must get insurance and keep it for the calendar year.

The individual mandate is the balance for the benefits of health insurance coverage, tax subsidies, and essential benefits at no costs.

The argument for including undocumented persons in Obamacare is compelling; they too will burden the emergency systems, and will cause enormous unnecessary costs when preventable diseases turn into severe conditions.

Immigrant Coverage

Immigrants to the US must meet the Individual Mandate if they are citizens and Nationals. Those with another lawful status in the US may be eligible to participate in the Obamacare marketplace. There is a wide variety of status eligible persons including:

  • permanent residents ( Green Card Holders)
  • refugees and asylum holders
  • certain worker visa holders ( H1, H-2A, and H-2B).

Immigration Status

The qualifications for participation in the federal or state marketplaces include verification of identity and confirmation of eligible status. US citizens can quickly resolve the issue with documentation such as social security registration. Similarly, US Nationals have ready access to confirming credentials. Immigrants that are lawfully present have had an adjustment of statuses such as a Green Card or other official record that confirms their lawful presence in the US.

Mixed-Status Families

Many US households may have mixed immigration statuses among its members. Government policy offers protection for information and does not require immigration status data about anyone not actively applying for benefits or participation. The tax status and immigration status can determine eligibility for Marketplace programs and Medicaid and CHIPs.

Sensitive and Difficult

The government pledges to use information presented only to determine eligibility for the marketplace. The determination of legal immigrant status can be complicated. It can involve the place of birth, the status of parents and guardians, and details of permits and visas. It can also involve personal histories including torture, abuse, human trafficking, asylum, and refugee status.

Exclusions for Undocumented Immigrants

The status of an undocumented immigrant is a legal basis for denials and exclusions that profoundly shape the lives and options available for basic needs like health care. The exclusions listed below are some that relate to health care.

  • No federal coverage under the Affordable Care Act
  • Cannot purchase health insurance in state insurance exchange(s).
  • No insurance premium tax credits or payment assistance
  • Limited to safety net facilities
  • Limited to emergency health services
  • Exempt from the Individual Mandate
  • Not eligible for Medicare, non-emergency Medicaid, or CHIP.

Undocumented Status Exceptions

Some families have mixed collection of statuses, and this is a common occurrence. Depending on location, federal, state, and local governments provide some basic and necessary services without regard to immigration status. These include emergency medical care.Get non-emergency health services at community health centers

  • Get non-emergency health services at community health centers.
  • Get emergency facilities and safety-net hospitals.
  • Remain eligible for emergency care under federal law.
  • Eligible for Emergency Medicaid if low-income.

The Decision on Health Care

One member of Congress has proposed admitting illegal immigrants into the Obamacare system. The reasoning is altruistic, inspired by the Pope’s recent visit, and practical. If we live among the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants, then their health status is linked to the rest of the population in ways that are unavoidable. It is useful to note that US-born children may have rights. Children of undocumented immigrants that are citizens or lawfully present can do the following under current law.Purchase health plans from the state insurance exchanges.

Childbirth and Naturalization

Polls showed that Obamacare was very unpopular among many groups of people who stood to benefit from its terms, and this included poor and uninsured Americans. One issue that frequently came up in advertising and communications that opposed the law was its potential to affect immigration status. Many opponents urged the view that persons might seek to come to the US illegally to get the benefits provided by Obamacare.

The evidence on immigration both legal and undocumented suggests that jobs are the key rather than benefits.

The Obamacare benefits available to illegal immigrants would be confined to emergency care facilities and open community-based clinics that serve everyone and charge on an ability to pay basis. Medicaid rules require an extensive waiting period for immigrants of five years or more.

Illegal Immigrants and Obamacare

There are particular forms of documentation needed to determine eligibility to participate in Obamacare. Including employment, travel, and administrative documents the applicant must provide proof and verifiable records. The basic rule is the illegal immigrants may not participate in the Affordable Care Act, the determination of status is not always simple. For those who must purchase health insurance, comparison shopping is the method best attuned to the needs of the individual or family. One can focus on the needs and determine which plans are most sensible. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool below to start comparing health insurance plans now!

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