Healthcare is a stressful topic in the United States. We have one of the most expensive healthcare costs in the world, and our medication is extremely expensive. Navigating the healthcare system is hard for Citizens but is even more stressful for non-citizens.
Residents and other immigrants with legal status can access healthcare through the insurance marketplace and/or Medicaid and Chip. Non-citizens with green cards and people in temporary statuses like Asylees, Parolees, DACA, TPS, and other statuses. Immigrants with legal status can access the Health Care Marketplace with no barriers in most cases they can access Medicaid and Chip as well.
Although using the Marketplace does not have restrictions, Medicaid and Chip do have restrictions. Green card holders are often subject to a 5-year waiting period prior to being able to use Medicaid and Chip, with exceptions in many states for Pregnant women and minor children. Most of the temporary statuses do not have a waiting period to access Medicaid or Chip.
Undocumented immigrants have a harder time accessing care outside of the emergency room. They do not have access to the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid, or Chip. There are very few private insurances available to undocumented immigrants. There is some relief as far as obtaining emergency medical care for those persons who would qualify for Medicaid if it wasn’t because of their immigration status. This can sometimes cover expensive procedures that would otherwise be out of reach for many of our undocumented brothers and sisters.
Undocumented immigrants who are applying for certain statuses but have not yet been approved can often access the healthcare marketplace including applicants for Asylum, TPS, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U-Visa, T-Visa, VAWA, or Adjustment of Status.
Many persons in temporary immigrant statuses believe that they should not access Medicaid or Chip because it will affect their immigration status and label them a “Public Charge” this is NOT TRUE unless the person is receiving long-term care in an institution at the government’s expense.
Abraham J. Cepeda, Esq.
Cultura Law LLC