Are New Legal Permanent Residents Eligible for Medicare Coverage through ACA?

Are New Legal Permanent Residents Eligible for Medicare Coverage through ACA?

One of the questions we get asked most frequently is whether or not new legal permanent residents are eligible for Medicare coverage through the ACA. The short answer is yes — however there are strict eligibility requirements immigrants must meet and qualify for U.S. Healthcare Marketplace coverage.

To be eligible for Medicare, a person must first be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident who is past his/her 65th birthday. Additionally, the person or their spouse must have worked in the United States and paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of forty (40) quarters. If you’re a recent legal permanent resident or new immigrant to the U.S. and haven’t worked in the U.S., you may not immediately qualify for Medicare. In this case, you can still purchase it as long as the following applies to you:

  • You’re 65 years or older
  • You’ve recently become a U.S. Citizen by naturalization and haven’t worked enough quarters in the U.S. to have social security coverage
  • You’re a green card holder and have constantly lived in the United States for 5 years or longer and don’t qualify for social security benefits

If you are a recent immigrant that has not yet accrued 40 quarters of work history but is lawfully present, you can qualify for health care (not Medicare) through the ACA. There is no five-year waiting period under the ACA and you could be eligible for subsidies to help offset costs.

If for some reason you are not qualified for government-supported healthcare or are unable to get private health insurance in the U.S. you may still be able to get short-term medical plans. And that’s where we come in! We are able to help new legal permanent residents get the right coverage they are looking for at an affordable price.  Questions? Give us a call — our agents are ready and waiting to help!

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