10 Things Immigrant Families Should Know About the Marketplace Coverage

Immigrant families can find affordable health coverage options in the Marketplace program. If you’ve recently relocated to the United States and have a change in your immigration status, below are ten points you need to know about Marketplace coverage:

1) To purchase a private health plan through the Marketplace program, you must be a U.S. resident or be legally present in the country. Find out the complete list of immigration statuses that are eligible for Marketplace coverage.

2) If you have recently obtained U.S. citizenship or changed your immigration status, you may be eligible for SEP (Special Enrollment Period). See if you can sign up for a Marketplace health plan outside of Open Enrollment.

3) You can purchase private health insurance through the Marketplace if you are a lawfully present immigrant. Also, you might be eligible for reduced monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses based on your household income. If you make less than $11,490 ($23,550 for the family of four) and don’t qualify for Medicaid, you may still be able to get low-cost coverage through the ACA Marketplace.

4) You may be eligible for Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) coverage if you are a “qualified non-citizen” and meet your state’s income eligibility rules. Visit the health insurance online portals to discover the list of “qualified non-citizen” statuses.

5) There may be a 5-year waiting period to get Medicaid and CHIP coverage. This means you need to wait five years after receiving “qualified” immigration status to be eligible for Medicaid and the CHIP program. See a list of exceptions to this 5-year waiting period and other important details here.

6) Many immigrant families have “mixed status,” which means that members have different immigration and citizenship statuses. Mixed-status families can only apply for a tax obligation credit or reduced out-of-pocket expenses for private insurance when they become eligible for Marketplace plan, Medicaid, or CHIP coverage. Family members who are not submitting applications for health insurance will not be asked if they have qualified immigration status.

7) Federal and country Marketplaces, as well as state Medicaid and CHIP companies, are not allowed to request information about the citizenship or immigration status of any family or household members who are not applying for health insurance.

8) States cannot deny you benefits because a family member or household member who is not buying coverage has not provided proof of citizenship or immigration status.

9) The information you provide to the Marketplace agency will not be used for immigration enforcement.

10) If you are not qualified for Marketplace coverage or cannot afford a health plan, you can obtain low-cost medical care at a community health center near you. Community health centers offer primary care services to all residents in the provider’s area, including immigrant families.