Public Charge and Health Insurance Explained
“Public charge” is a ground of inadmissibility, that is, reasons a person could be denied a green card, visa, or admission into the United States. In deciding whether to grant an applicant a green card or visa, an immigration officer must decide whether the person is likely to become dependent on certain government benefits in the future, deeming them a “public charge.”
Under the new rule, the term “public charge” refers to someone who uses more than twelve (12) months in aggregate of public benefits (i.e. Medicaid, SSI, CHIP) over a three-year period of time.
This rule also affects those seeking to extend or adjust their status while in the United States. For most immigrants, simply having public benefits like Medicaid will not harm immigration status because many immigrants are excluded from the public charge rule.
Under the new rule, public benefits on this list now include:
- Cash assistance such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and general assistance programs;
- Medicaid (with exceptions including coverage for emergency services, children under 21 years old, and pregnant women including 60 days of postpartum services);
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP, formerly called “food stamps”); and
- Federal Public Housing, Section 8 housing vouchers and Section 8 project-based rental assistance.
Additionally, in regard to the new rule, receiving public benefits will not automatically make someone a public charge. The use of public benefits is only one factor considered in determining whether an immigrant is likely to be a “public charge”. Most immigrants in Florida who are subject to the public charge rule are not eligible for the programs listed in the rule.
Covid-19 and Public Charge: All noncitizen should get the care they need. US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that getting testing and treatment for COVID-19 (including a vaccine) will not trigger public charge. USCIS also stated it would take into account other factors in a person’s life due to the pandemic, like job loss and need for further benefits, or other situations that may impact a public charge decision.
Questions? If you’d like assistance to determine if you will be affected by this new rule, give us a call. We offer health insurance options within two categories: domestic health insurance and international health insurance.
In certain states, immigrants can purchase a non-ACA (Affordable Care Act) plan. These short-term plans can vary in length from one month to three years and can be purchased during Open Enrollment or a Special Election Period. Domestic Health Insurance cover all pre-existing conditions, and most carriers don’t require a SSN or Tax ID Number. Clients can apply for a subsidy to offset the costs of this plan, but it may not be considered in the Public Charge determination.
International health insurance is available in all 50 states and don’t require a social security number. They can be purchased before the applicants are in the United States and don’t have waiting periods. However – these plans are subject to an applicants medical history.
Here at E&M, we’ll work with you and your clients to find an appropriate insurance plan for their needs.With an insurance plan squared away before the Public Charge questionnaire is issued, you can significantly strengthen your client’s case for a U.S. Visa.
What does the future of health benefits look like under a Biden Administration?
With the election (and the majority of 2020) behind us, we’re now focusing on expected changes to health coverage and benefits when the new President and Congress take office. Here are some likely actions:
Health experts believe the Biden administration may create a special enrollment period for uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage. Where it was reduced in the previous administration, many hope the increase on marketplace advertising will help to enroll significantly more people with the ACA markets and Medicaid.
Policy Roll Back
Biden is expected to stop or “roll back” on a wide range of policies, such as short-term limited-duration insurance, Association Health Plan expansion, and other non-ACA coverages.
Revise Trump ACA Changes
Health experts also believe Biden will restore Obama-era non discrimination protections and stop approving waivers for Medicaid work requirements, revising guidance for state innovation ACA waivers.
Prescription Drug Cost
One of the proposals in the Biden Administration is allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, regulating the start prices of drugs without competition, limiting drug-price increases to the rate of inflation, and allowing personal drug importation.
FDA & COVID Management
Experts suggest Biden will try to depoliticize the FDA and empower the CDC to lead the public health response on Covid-19.
Biden has also shared his interest in revisiting the “public option” under Medicare for Americans and making the option voluntary vs. a single-payer model.
Regardless of the changes that will be made, know that E&M Globa are here for you and will make sure you are always informed of any change to your plan and work with you to ensure you’re happy with your policy. Questions? Give us a call!
Tick tock, tick tock…those two sounds are enough to kick-start anxiety! During this extremely busy time we wanted to remind you Open Enrollment deadlines are quickly approaching — do you have the coverage you need for you and your family?While shopping for Cyber Week deals, let US help YOU shop or make changes to your coverage! Individuals who receive health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have between November 1st and December 15th, 2020 to make changes. Medicare recipients have between October 15th and December 7th, 2020 to make any changes to coverage beginning January 1st, 2021.We recommend reviewing your current policy and checking in with your other family members to see if you had any changes to your health in the past year, if you haven’t already done so. By now you’ve received a call from us if your current plan is changing and have been asked about doctors and specialists you’d like to keep should we need to shop for a new policy for you. Sometimes, your doctor may leave the network or your drugs won’t be on the list of covered medications — which is where we step in. We will find a plan that better suits your needs and be sure to make the necessary changes during the open enrollment period for your upcoming coverage.Ready to make changes to your plan? Give us a call! Our award-winning team is ready and waiting to help you!
From our home to yours!
At our agency, we are grateful for many things, most importantly YOU!
Thank you for your business — we value you as a client and wish you and your loved
ones a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving Day.
Your Heath Insurance Brokers
E&M Global and Florida Health Insurance
2020 has been a life-changing year for everyone, and as numbers of cases rise all over the globe, it’s important to remain vigilant about the health of you and your loved ones. But with the holidays around the corner, how can we safely celebrate?
Unfortunately, most health experts say there isn’t a 100% foolproof way to host a completely “safe” holiday event, however, if you are intent on hosting or planning an event, there are a few things to consider to lower the risk of exposure.
Consider Going Virtual
Most of us are experiencing “pandemic fatigue” and the thought of having another zoom meeting is enough for a splitting headache. But the experts say, the safest way to celebrate the holidays is virtually. This way our grandparents can stay indoors and relatives don’t have to travel from out of town. You can literally celebrate with friends and loved ones from around the world. If you’re a host, consider creating a stylish invitation for guests, suggesting to respond with an RSVP and a recipe of their choice. Or, you may simply create a new holiday tradition over video chat — a tacky holiday sweater contest, a game session, a virtual “gift” exchange.
Location Location Location
If you are hosting an in-person holiday dinner, consider the location in which you have dinner. Hosting your party outside can be a safer option than having it indoors; fresh air is continuously moving and can disperse any infected droplets, if any. Personally, nothing is cozier than a blanket draped while outside in cool weather! Be sure to follow your city’s guidelines in total guest count — some are limited to 10 or fewer. Seating should be further apart if possible.
Clean Up Clean Up, Everybody Everywhere
This goes without saying, but a thorough clean before and after your event is critical. It’s important to disinfect high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, bathroom and kitchen countertops, toilet lids and handles, faucets. Hand sanitizer should be provided at each end of the table and if possible, have your guests wash their hands as they enter.
You may also want to consider a buffet, allowing your guests to serve themselves independently (while wearing a mask). Using disposable silverware and plates along with plastic cups may not be aesthetically pleasing, but are safer in the long run. As a host, you can also prepare and “pre-package” your guests’ dinner plates, plating all of the food ahead of time so guests move around less, thus decreasing risk for everyone.
2020 has been nothing short of…well, we can’t quite find the right word, but let’s just say we will all collectively celebrate the end of this trying year. Everyone here at E&M Global wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season.
USCIS just updated the website regarding the I-944.
If you filed your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, after Feb. 24, 2020, you may be required to file Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.
If we receive a Form I-485 before Oct. 13, 2020, that does not have all required forms and evidence, we will request any missing forms and evidence.
After Oct. 13, 2020, we will reject your Form I-485 if you do not include the required forms and evidence with Form I-485 at the time of filing.
If you need a quote on a medical plan to meet this critieria please get with us.
On February 24th, 2020, the Public Charge was implemented. The form required individuals to prove that they would not be a public charge in the future upon entry to the United States.
Yet with Covid raging and people needing medical attention The SDNY struck down the rule while we are in a Public Health Emergency.
At E&M Global Insurance we support this decision. Individuals should not be scared to get medical coverage or seek treatment-especially during a global pandemic. Should the rule again change we will once again have the solutions to avoid being public charge victims.
This year, from July 20th to the 23rd, AILA University will present the 2020 AILA Virtual Annual Conference and Exhibition. At this anticipated event, professionals working in a complete range of immigration practice areas will come together to learn, discuss, and collaborate in a variety of programming and events.
E&M Global Insurance has been a sponsor of this event since 2017. As an authority in the field of insurance products for immigrants, we work with attorneys throughout the nation to protect their clients from becoming public charge victims. With a turnaround time of just one day, we’re proud to provide invaluable assistance to attorneys and their clients.
With our commitment to supporting immigrants’ legal needs, we’re thrilled to once again sponsor the AILA Annual Conference and Exhibition this year.
AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, is a longstanding association of immigration lawyers in the United States. The association’s aim is to foster justice and quality in immigration law and practice, as well as support equitable immigration law. AILA hosts a range of events for immigration professionals throughout the year, helping attendees to expand their education and expertise.
The conference and exhibition will present curated content from the scheduled in-person AILA 2020 Annual Conference. OnDemand resources and virtual engagement opportunities will be provided to attendees, as well as all-day access to a virtual exhibit hall. Here, attendees can interact and socialize with exhibitors, partners, and colleagues to forge connections with professionals in the field.
Every day of this four-day event will hone in on an immigration practice area. Two synchronous tracks, a fundamentals track and an intermediate-advanced level track, will be provided for each day. Eligible attendees of the conference can receive credits towards their continuing legal education.
The AILA 2020 Annual Conference presents an exciting opportunity for professionals in the immigration field to expand their knowledge, innovate their business practices, and make valuable industry connections. With our commitment to continual improvement, E&M Global Insurance is proud to promote growth and collaboration as a sponsor of the conference.
E&M Global Insurance is a full-service international insurance agency. Specializing in health and life insurance for individuals born outside of the United States, E&M couples unmatched customer service with top-caliber insurance products. Additionally, our agency fosters progress and innovation in immigration services through our involvement in events like the AILA 2020 Annual Conference.
We look forward to meeting you there.