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Healthcare for Immigrant Parents

by: Justin Burton

Learn About Healthcare for Immigrant Parents With An Immigration Attorney Chicago

For many United States residents, whether they are a citizen or otherwise, it is important to bring their parents to the U.S. to be able to take care of them. While the process to bring parents here is usually straightforward, healthcare is not as simple.

In the United States, seniors 65 years and older are generally eligible for Medicare. However, people who have been in the country for less than five years are not eligible for Medicare. An immigrant parent also will not be eligible for Medicare without five years of residence in the United States unless they reside in one of fourteen states that has modified rules based on immigration status.

Earlier, before the Affordable Care Act, it used to be that obtaining individual health insurance for immigrant parents over 65 years of age was difficult. Most health insurance providers refused to offer coverage to seniors because of higher risks. However, the Affordable Care Act has made it so that age and preexisting conditions cannot be used to determine coverage. An immigrant parent may even qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

How to obtain health insurance through exchange

You can apply for health insurance for your immigrant parent here. You will need to buy health insurance through the exchange for your state. Your parent will need the following to apply.

  • Email address;
  • Address of residence;
  • Social Security number;
  • Green card number;
  • I-94 number;
  • Visa, if he/she has one; and
  • Other supporting documents.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the premium for a person 65 years and over should never be more than three times the premium for younger enrollees.

Other options

If, for some reason, your parent is ineligible for health insurance through the healthcare exchange or you just want to consider other options, you can look into travel insurance or private insurance specifically for immigrants from healthcare providers. Private insurance for those 65 and over that is out of the healthcare exchange is usually difficult to find, expensive and has many exclusions.

Another thing to be wary of when purchasing travel health insurance or immigrant health insurance is whether or not the plan meets the minimum coverage dictated under the Affordable Care Act. If the plan does not meet the minimum threshold, you will be subject to a penalty fee. Considering this, it is probably in your and your parents’ best interest to buy health insurance through the healthcare exchange if possible.

Wading through the process to obtain healthcare insurance for your immigrant parents can be challenging. Consult an attorney at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC with any questions regarding the law in relation to healthcare and what your options are.

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