Health Insurance for Green Card Holders in the US

Health Insurance for Green Card Holders in the US

Looking for green card insurance to provide medical coverage while you're in the U.S.? You've come to the right place. 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.

If you're a new U.S. immigrant and entering the U.S. for the first time, or you're a green card holder living outside the U.S. planning a short trip to the United States, visitors insurance gives you the temporary coverage you need to stay protected.

Choosing a plan that best fits your needs begins with identifying what type of immigrant or green card holder you are.

Who Is Green Card Health Insurance Meant For?

Let's take a closer look at some of the most common types of individuals who need health insurance for green card holders or new immigrants.

Green Card Holders Who Travel Between Home Country and U.S.

A number of individuals may 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 visitors insurance plan that satisfies the eligibility criteria for green card holders who don’t live in the U.S. permanently and regularly travel to the U.S. from their home country.

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

Whether you're 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, UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and more. Options for health insurance for green card holders over 65 include Medicare if you meet eligibility criteria. If not, domestic plans from are available.

Green card holders who miss the healthcare enrollment period or are waiting on their employee benefits to start may be able to insure themselves with temporary coverage through visitors insurance.

Health Insurance for 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 a new immigrant health insurance plan, or a plan that provides temporary coverage while you travel and settle down in the U.S.

If you're in the U.S. on a visitor's visa and your children or family have 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 more permanent healthcare plan that offers coverage for green card holders.

Medicare for Green Card Holders

Green card holders over 65 years of age may be eligible for federal Medicare, or state-sponsored Medicaid or MediCal or any other U.S. state or federal health program. Wondering what the differences are between these programs? Learn more about Medicare vs. Medicaid vs. MediCAL.

Medicare is a federal health program and has certain eligibility requirements. View common questions about Medicare for green card holders.

If you’re a green card holder or new immigrant in the U.S., it’s critical to ensure that you have medical coverage as soon as you begin your new life in the United States. A domestic healthcare plan will be the best option for the long-term, however, if you need coverage before you can find a more permanent healthcare solution, a visitors insurance plan can offer the coverage you need.

  • Green card holders may be eligible for a short-term visitors health insurance plan until they are able to secure a long-term plan.
  • Medical costs in the United States are extremely high, so having medical coverage at all times in the U.S. is crucial.
  • Green card holders under 65 can purchase a domestic healthcare plan once eligible or receive one through their employer.
  • Green card holders over 65 may qualify for Medicare after reaching certain eligibility requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you get health insurance while waiting for green card?

In order to qualify for a domestic U.S. health insurance plan purchased through the health insurance marketplace, your green card must be approved. If you are waiting for your green card to be approved while traveling to the U.S., you can secure coverage with a visitors insurance plan.


Are green card holders required to have health insurance?

While at the federal level health insurance isn’t currently enforced, most states do have laws that require permanent residents and U.S. citizens to have health insurance. It is highly recommended regardless due to the high costs of medical care in the U.S.


Can a green card holder get health insurance?

Yes, a green card holder is eligible for a U.S. domestic health care plan once their permanent resident status is approved.