Are New Immigrants, Who are Also Green Card Holders, Eligible for Medicare?

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Are New Immigrants, Who are Also Green Card Holders, Eligible for Medicare?

If you or your elderly parents are new to the United States, and if they hold green cards, you may wonder if you or they can receive Medicare benefits. After all, just because you or they are new to the country, does not mean that your health automatically restores itself. Unfortunately, however, the short answer to your inquiry is no, new residents are not eligible for Medicare benefits. This is true even if you or your parents possess green cards.

Who is Eligible for Medicare?

According to Insubuy, “regular residents” of the United States – “regular” meaning U.S. born, permanent residents, etc. – can get Medicare if they have worked and paid taxes in the United States for 40 consecutive quarters. This equates to 10 years. Individuals must also be 65 years of age or older to qualify for Medicare benefits. That said, if a person has lived in the United States for five consecutive years, has been a green card holder or lawful permanent resident for those five years, and is at least 65 years of age, he or she can buy Medicare Part A benefits. They may be able to purchase Part B and Part D benefits, as well, though everyone who wishes to have access to these benefits must purchase them from the U.S. government—U.S. natives included.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy Benefits?

As of 2018, the cost to purchase Part A benefits is $422.00 a month. This is about average for the cost of health insurance in the United States as of this year. To purchase Part B benefits, a person can expect to pay $134.90 a month. The cost of Part D benefits depends on a number of factors, including the plan one chooses and his or her income.

In short, if you or your parents choose to purchase benefits from the government when you become eligible to do so, you can expect to pay at least $556.00 a month, plus the cost of Part D benefits if you decide you need those.

It is important to note that Medicare Part A, B, and D does not cover every possible medical expense. Just like with private health insurance, there are additional add-ons for unique health concerns. That is why there are Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap Plans, sold by private health insurers and designed to cover an insured’s anticipated health costs outside of what Medicare would cover.

What Other Options Do You Have?

Unfortunately, you do not have many options for health insurance outside of purchasing a healthcare plan. VisitorsCoverage.com offers more information regarding how you can go about applying for healthcare as an immigrant and makes suggestions for which types of plans may be right for you.

At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we understand that your life in the U.S. is bound to be full of complications and challenges that you will have to overcome. Our Chicago immigration lawyers are prepared to help you navigate those challenges and, if possible, work toward a viable solution. If you want to make your new life here as seamless as possible, contact our immigration law firm today.