Green Cards and Healthcare Coverage: What You Need to Know

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Green Cards and Healthcare Coverage: What You Need to Know

In October of 2019, the Trump administration announced it would start to require proof of valid immigrant health insurance in the United States. Without such coverage, green card applications in the United States could be denied visas. The announcement was made in an effort to reduce the strain on hospitals and medical systems in the country. 

Although the order has come under scrutiny since the announcement was made, prospective green card holders can still be asked for proof of immigrant health coverage. If the consular office is not satisfied with the proof of healthcare coverage an immigrant provides, their visa could be denied and they may not even be allowed in the country. Due to this, it is crucial that all green card holders and applicants understand what is required of them.

Permanent Residents in the United States and Healthcare Coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all residents in the United States have health insurance. This includes green card holders. Unfortunately, new green card holders are not eligible for Obamacare or other domestic healthcare coverage. Until immigrants can obtain health insurance, they should purchase medical insurance, particularly healthcare coverage for green card holders that are over the age of 65.

Green card holders that will be outside of the United States for a long period of time should also purchase medical plans that will provide coverage around the world. These plans can provide temporary health insurance for permanent residents. While immigrants are waiting for their green cards and have not yet been admitted into the country, they should also purchase health insurance to provide coverage until their green card is approved.

Categories of Green Card Holders

There are a number of categories for green card holders, and each should follow different recommendations for obtaining healthcare coverage. The categories include:

  • Green card holders who are out of the country often: Green card holders who travel frequently from the U.S. and their home country should purchase US travel health insurance coverage until they permanently reside within the country and can purchase domestic healthcare coverage.
  • Green card holders permanently residing in the country: Green card holders are typically not eligible to purchase healthcare coverage, such as Blue Cross, for six months after obtaining their green card. During this time, they should purchase short term travel health insurance until they become eligible for domestic coverage.
  • Waiting for green card after application: Immigrants who have applied for their green card and are still waiting for legal residency should also purchase visitor healthcare coverage until they qualify for domestic insurance.

Healthcare coverage is just one complex aspect of immigrating to the United States. An Illinois immigration lawyer can advise on this issue and any other relating to the immigration system.

Call Our Illinois Immigration Lawyers Today

Immigrating to the United States is a very complex process governed by many rules. Healthcare coverage is just one issue that may arise. If you wish to enter the country, do not hesitate to contact our Chicago immigration lawyers at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates, LLC today. We will advise on your case and ensure you are protected before entering the country, and afterward. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.