QUESTION

Who is a lawfully present immigrant for health insurance purposes?

Individuals with no coverage | Navigating Health Insurance Marketplace Options
ANSWER

Lawfully present immigrants generally include:

  • Lawful permanent residents (or “green card holders”);
  • Persons fleeing persecution, including refugees and asylees;
  • Other humanitarian immigrants, including those granted temporary protected status;
  • Cuban/Haitian entrants; and
  • Survivors of domestic violence, trafficking, and other serious crimes.

See this list with qualifying immigration statuses for marketplace coverage available here. (26 U.S.C. § 5000A (d)(3); HealthCare.gov, Immigration status and the Marketplace).

Note that in October 2018, the Trump Administration proposed an expansion to the current policy that determines whether certain immigrants would be considered a “public charge.” While the rule is not finalized, it may eventually impact individuals seeking admission to the U.S. or seeking to adjust status to lawful permanent residence (green card) applying for or using certain public benefits, like Medicaid. Under current and proposed rules, the application and use of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions are exempted from the public charge determination test. If the rule is finalized, you will have time to act before the rule goes into effect, and thus can still apply for and use public benefits including Medicaid in the interim.

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