Can you really get health insurance while waiting for your Green Card?
This is a question that keeps many future Green Card holders on their toes. But rest assured, the answer is an optimistic yes!
But, as you can probably guess, there’s a bit more to it than just a simple affirmative.
Now, before we get started, it’s important to note that waiting for a Green Card can be like watching a thriller movie. There are suspenseful moments, times of quiet where nothing seems to happen, and periods of intense action.
In between all this drama, one thing should remain a constant – your health. Because let’s face it, health emergencies don’t wait for anyone or anything, not even your precious Green Card.
First things first, you need to know that immigrants waiting for their Green Card are classified as “Lawfully Present” in the United States.
USCIS defines this group as immigrants who are in a “period of stay authorized by the Secretary”.
Now, being lawfully present opens up several options for health insurance. You might be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance, individual market plans, or even some public programs.
In this article…
Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
If you’re working in the U.S. while waiting for your Green Card, you might be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance. This is one of the most common ways people in the U.S. get health coverage.
Now, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, as the specifics of these plans can vary greatly depending on your employer.
The Best Health Insurance for visiting parents article gives you some insights into choosing the best plans.
Marketplace Insurance Plans
As a lawfully present immigrant, you can buy health insurance from the Marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Some lawfully present immigrants might be eligible for these public programs. Eligibility varies by state and other factors like income and family size.
However, there might be a waiting period. More details can be found on the Medicaid website.
Short-Term Health Insurance
If you find yourself in a health insurance gap, short-term health insurance might be an option. However, these plans typically do not provide as comprehensive coverage as traditional health insurance.
Check the Best short-term sim cards for visitors in the USA article for a short-term backup plan.
Remember, health insurance is no laughing matter. The United States is notorious for high healthcare costs, and being uninsured can lead to financial hardship.
If you’re waiting for your Green Card, take the time to explore your options and find a health insurance plan that best fits your needs and budget. T
his way, you can focus on the thrilling process of becoming a permanent resident without the worry of health emergencies getting in the way.
1. Can I get health insurance while waiting for my Green Card?
Yes, individuals awaiting their Green Card are considered “Lawfully Present” and have several health insurance options available, including employer-sponsored plans, Marketplace insurance plans, Medicaid and CHIP, and short-term health insurance.
2. Can I qualify for Medicaid while I’m waiting for my Green Card?
Eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) varies by state and other factors like income and family size. Some lawfully present immigrants might be eligible for these programs, but there might be a waiting period.
3. Do all employer-sponsored health insurance plans cover immigrants waiting for their Green Card?
The specifics of employer-sponsored health insurance plans can vary greatly, and coverage for immigrants waiting for their Green Card depends on the employer and the specific insurance plan.
4. What is Marketplace insurance?
Marketplace insurance refers to health insurance plans available through the Marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a lawfully present immigrant, you can purchase these plans, which offer comprehensive coverage.
5. Are short-term health insurance plans a good option while I’m waiting for my Green Card?
Short-term health insurance might be an option if you find yourself in a health insurance gap. However, these plans typically do not provide as comprehensive coverage as traditional health insurance, so they should be used as a last resort.
6. What happens if I don’t get health insurance while I’m waiting for my Green Card?
Going without health insurance in the U.S. can be risky due to high healthcare costs. If an emergency happens and you are uninsured, you may face significant financial hardship.
7. Are there any special health insurance programs for immigrants?
There might be some state-specific programs that provide health insurance for immigrants. It’s recommended to research and contact local health departments for more information.
8. Can I get subsidies for Marketplace insurance?
Yes, you might qualify for subsidies to help pay for Marketplace insurance, depending on your income.
9. Can I change my health insurance plan after I receive my Green Card?
Yes, receiving your Green Card is considered a “qualifying life event,” which means you can change your health insurance plan.
10. What kind of health coverage do I need while waiting for my Green Card?
The type of health coverage you need depends on various factors like your general health, your age, and your financial situation. It’s recommended to get comprehensive coverage that suits your individual needs.