As a sponsor of AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) we get frequent questions from immigration attorneys regarding whether their clients can qualify for coverage. There is much confusion on this, so we thought we’d dig a bit deeper on this.
The Health Insurance Marketplace(Obamacare) allows quite a bit a lot of immigration statuses the ability to get coverage. This includes not only Legal Permanent Residents but also EAD (Employment Authorization Document), Refugees, Cuban/Haitian Entrant and Lawful Temporary Residents.
Clients are usually asked to provide proof to the marketplace that will need to be verified. Failure to provide documentation could result in the policy being termed.
While coverage can be obtained the ability to get a subsidy can be more difficult. In 2018 an individual will need to make over $13,000 to get a subsidy to help offset the costs of the insurance. If a client makes under this depending on the state, they may not be eligible for any financial assistance. In addition, if an individual makes more than 400% of the poverty level they are not eligible for any financial assistance as well. For new immigrants it is our experience that the marketplace will most likely ask for proof of this income. This can be a challenge since many do not have pay stubs or a W-2. The marketplace could thus strip the subsidy away making coverage unaffordable.
For clients who do not qualify for financial assistance we advise always going private. The plans are stronger and there is no burden of proof for income. In addition, you do not need to worry about your information going into the federal governments database.
For any questions on an individuals’ options please contact Evan Tunis at 800-974-5077.