Insurance for Greencard holders

Greencard holders have a variety of insurance options depending on whether they frequently travel out of the US, live in the US on a permanent basis, or have recently become permanent residents. Everyone in the United States is required to have health insurance due to ObamaCare.  You can be fined for not having insurance, which can be a financial hardship for many who are not wealthy. This is why it is important to seek insurance as soon as you know you will be living in the United States.

Finding the right insurance for immigrants can be tricky if you are unsure what is available. There are often different options available based on how long you have been in the country, how much money you make, and a number of other variables. No matter what, it is important to make sure you understand what options are available to you and how you will choose the best insurance for your needs.

medical insurance

Insurance Options for Immigrants

Even if you live abroad some of the time, if you are in the U.S. for more than 35 days out of the year, you are required to have a valid insurance plan. According to Healthcare.gov, many immigrants qualify for insurance through the Healthcare Marketplace, including those who:

  • Hold a green card
  • Are refugees
  • Are seeking asylum
  • Are a battered spouse, parent or child
  • Are a victim of trafficking
  • Hold a temporary protected status (TPS)
  • Are a lawful temporary resident
  • Are Cuban/Haitian entrants
  • Were paroled in the United States
  • Have a working visa (including H1, H-2A, H-2B, U-visa, T-visa, or student visa)
  • Have a K visa who are engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen

You don’t necessarily need to have an income in order to apply. Unfortunately, though, undocumented immigrants do not have the opportunity to seek coverage through the Healthcare Marketplace. Individuals who do not have a social security number, but are lawfully present in the United States may want to consider visitor insurance. This can be purchased on a short-term basis. These insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. They are simply for emergencies while in the United States. Obviously, this does not help someone who is already suffering from an illness when coming to the United States. Individuals in this situation will need to apply for permanent residency/citizenship or can possibly seek coverage under someone who is a documented individual in the United States. However, the process can be long and complex. More information about this process can be found here.

Quotes for Immigrant Insurance

You can find many insurance possibilities such as the following. 

Inbound Choice charges $44.33 for a premium for one person at age 50 years for 31 days coverage. This includes $50,000 per injury or sickness with a per incident deductible of $100. For hospital days, there’s a $1,500 per day max, $2,000 per day for injury or sickness for intensive care, $68 for prescription drugs for each injury or sickness, and $38 for each visit to the doctor.

Inbound Immigrant is slightly more at $50.84 per month, but they allow you to have the plan for 1,820 days versus only 728 days for Inbound Choice. If you want a lower premium, you can consider Visitors Care. The premium for this plan is only $29 per month, and has different coverage options to choose from. The plan offers options of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 for the entire plan’s life with a deductible options of $0, $50 and $100. You can only have this plan for 2 years. The basic $25,000 plan will only pay $825 per day if you end up in the hospital and  pay $150 for each prescription medication. 

The above two plans offer limited benefits, and here is one with comprehensive benefits. Green Cover is a comprehensive insurance plan for non US citizens for coverage in the US who are between the ages of 60 and 95 years. The policy can be purchased within 5 years of coming to the US and can be bought for a length as little as 5 days to a maximum of 364 days. If you initially buy less than 364 days you may extend the policy to a total of 364 days. If you need additional coverage you can buy a new policy when the prior one ends. The policy maximum and deductible vary by age and there is a 80% co-insurance after deductible. The policy includes coverage for International travel anywhere outside of the US up to $5,000 for ages 60 to 74 years and $2500 for ages 75 to 95 years.

The policy has two parts- A and B. Part A comprises of Hospitalization while Part B comprises of Inpatient and outpatient care along with supplies, therapy and Ambulance services. The policy also provides some protections for some specialized benefits like Alzheimer’s disease, Cardiac and /or cancer and cataract surgery.

There are many immigrant insurance plans available, so you will need to consider your budget, health, and level of risk when choosing the right one for you.

Coverage through Your Insurance Plan

Your plan will help cover the costs of any doctor’s visits, medications, and/or hospitalizations. Healthcare in the U.S. can be extremely expensive without insurance, and even if you are young and healthy, it is much better to avoid risking any serious issues than to hope nothing bad will happen. Having insurance is a way of making sure you are covered under any potential outcome.

Variables for Immigrant Insurance

Coverage, benefits and deductibles vary with the plan you choose. However, there are specific options available depending on the needs of the insured. For example, some insurance plans will cover those with pre-existing conditions, while others will not. Insurance companies seek to make money off the premiums that people pay. If they know that the person they are insuring will end up with medical bills beyond what they will pay over a certain number of years, they will be less likely to want to take you on, or they will want to charge you a lot more money to have the insurance. This is the reason you should take time to choose the insurance plan that works best for you. Every insurance company is different, so you will find that some will charge you less for the same amount of coverage than another company.

Some people are also curious about Medicare and whether they can receive this option if they are over 65. If you are an immigrant who is over 65, once you have lived in the U.S. for 5 years, you can apply for Medicare. Of course, new immigrants don’t have this option, so they can only seek insurance through insurance companies to cover their healthcare costs.

Applying for Insurance

If you choose to apply for insurance through the Healthcare Marketplace, you must live in the U.S., be a citizen or be lawfully present, and not be incarcerated. This means you will have to wait to apply until everything is settled for your immigrant status. Those who are still waiting for their green cards cannot apply for Obamacare. However, if you want to apply for insurance early, other options may allow you to do so.