Every new immigrant and green card holder in America is different. These unique circumstances may have an impact on eligibility for various domestic health insurance policies, potentially making it tricky to find the best travel coverage option until you're eligible to enroll in domestic healthcare.
Let's take a closer look at some of the most common types of new U.S. immigrants or current green card holders.
Green Card Holders who shuttle between their home country and the U.S.
A number of individuals may already have green cards but don't stay in the U.S. permanently. They may be visiting the U.S. every six months or once every year. If this describes your situation, you'll need to buy either an immigrant plan or a visitor's plan that satisfies the eligibility criteria for green card holders shuttling between the home country and the U.S.
For green card holders and permanent residents who spend over 330 days outside of the U.S., the Affordable Care Act requirements may not apply.
Green card holders who are permanent U.S. residents
Effective January 1, 2019, Americans are no longer required by the federal government to have healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Moving forward, it will now be up to each state to decide if its residents are required to have healthcare. While you might not be penalized for failing to enroll now (depending on which state you live in), it's always best to have quality healthcare coverage for yourself and your family in the event of illness or injury.
Whether you missed the ACA deadline, are in between jobs, are a dependent no longer covered under a parent's insurance, are a recent graduate or you're just waiting on health benefits to start, your options depend on your age.
If you're below 65 years of age, have a green card and live in the U.S. permanently, you can consider domestic insurances like Blue Cross, Blue shield etc. Green card holders who miss the healthcare enrollment period (November 15 to February 15 every year) or are waiting on their employee benefits to start may be able to insure themselves with temporary coverage.If you're a green card holder above 65 years of age, you may be eligible for federal Medicare, or state-sponsored Medicaid or MediCal or any other U.S. state or federal health program.
Note: Medicare is a federal health program and has certain eligibility requirements. Keep reading to find out which green card holders qualify for Medicare.
For more information, check with your federal healthcare marketplace (healthcare.gov) or contact your resident state's health marketplace or read more at Obamacare for Green Card Holders.
New green card holders
If you recently received your green card and will be coming to the U.S. on an immigrant visa soon, you can consider New Immigrants Health Insurance plan, or plans that provide temporary coverage while you travel and settle down in the U.S. Some of the choices from VisitorsCoverage include: Inbound USA and HCC STM. Get immigrants insurance today.
Immigrants in the process of getting a green card
If you're in the U.S. on a visitor's visa and your children or family has applied for a family-sponsored green card, you're considered a visitor until your green card is processed. During this waiting period, you may be eligible for a visitors health insurance plan. Once you get green card approval, you should shift to a plan that offers coverage for green card holders.
Medicare or government-sponsored health benefits programs
If you're over 65 years of age, have been a green card holder for more than 5 years and are continuously living in the U.S., you may apply for Medicare. For further reading on temporary health insurance for green card holders: