Immigrant families can find affordable health coverage options in the Marketplace program. If you’ve recently relocated to the United States and have a change in your immigration status, below are ten points you need to know about Marketplace coverage:
1) To purchase a private health plan through the Marketplace program, you must be a U.S. resident or be lawfully present in the country. Find out the complete list of immigration statuses that are eligible for Marketplace coverage.
2) If you have recently obtained U.S. citizenship or changed your immigration status, you may be eligible for SEP (Special Enrollment Period). See if you can sign up for a Marketplace health plan outside of Open Enrollment.
3) You can purchase private health insurance through the Marketplace if you are a lawfully present immigrant. Based on your household income, you might be eligible for lower monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. If you make less than 11,490 dollars ($23,550 for the family of four) and aren’t approved for Medicaid, you may still be able to get lower-cost coverage.
4) You may be eligible for Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) coverage if you are a “qualified non-citizen” and meet your state’s income eligibility rules. Visit the health insurance online portals to discover the list of “qualified non-citizen” statuses.
5) There may be a 5-year waiting period to get Medicaid and CHIP coverage. This means you need to wait five years after receiving “qualified” immigration status to be eligible for Medicaid and the CHIP program. See a list of exceptions to this 5-year waiting period, as well as other important information.
6) Many immigrant families have “mixed status,” which means that members have different immigration and citizenship statuses. Mixed-status families can apply for a tax obligation credit or lower out-of-pocket expenses for private coverage for their dependent household members eligible for Marketplace coverage, Medicaid, or CHIP coverage. Family members who are not submitting applications for health insurance for themselves will not be asked if they have eligible immigration status.
7) Federal and country Marketplaces, as well as state Medicaid and CHIP companies, are not allowed to request information about the citizenship or immigration status of any family or household members who are not applying for health insurance.
8) States cannot deny you benefits because a family member or household member who is not buying coverage has not provided proof of citizenship or immigration status.
9) The information you provide to the Marketplace agency will not be used for immigration enforcement.
10) If you are not qualified for Marketplace coverage or cannot afford a health plan, you can obtain low-cost medical care at a community health center near you. Community health centers offer primary care services to all residents in the health center’s service area, including immigrant families.