According to the American Immigration Centre, in 2013, more than 990,000 foreign nationals, mainly originating from China, Mexico and India, received permanent resident status (green card status) in the US, and the figure has only been increasing since then. Green-card holders become Lawful Permanent Residents or LPRs, and can enjoy every right to work, study, reside and own property in the United States.
However, according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), LPRs or green card holders, along with US citizens, also need to arm themselves with the qualified health insurance, irrespective of whether you live in the US on a permanent basis or not. Penalties will be levied on green card holders for not enrolling for health insurance, where you could end up paying a fine, along with the cost of medical care. Let us take a look at the various options available for medical insurance for new immigrants and green card holders in the USA.
Obama Care for Permanent Residents or Green Card Holders
Obama Care, properly known as The Affordable Care Act, contains the list of immigrants, like the LPR or green card holders, who are eligible for coverage under the new US healthcare marketplace. A green card holder thus qualifies for government assistance at affordable rates, along with state, federal medical or Medicare for Green Card programs under the Obama Care health insurance ordinance.
To determine eligibility, the cost and many other details for Obama Care, certain factors like the state of residence, geographical area, income and the number of dependents are taken into consideration. The best part is that unlike the usual medical plans, which do not cover for a pre-existing medical ailment, Obama Care does not exclude pre-existing conditions in the applicant’s health coverage, which are covered like any other ailment.
The applicant needs to produce certain documents, depending on their immigration status, when they apply for and enroll in marketplace coverage. Visit the HealthCare.gov website to get a list of the documents required.
Medical Insurance for Green Card Holders who Frequently Shuttle Between USA and their Home Country
There are green card holders who do not stay in the USA permanently, but visit America every six months or once in a year. For such permanent residents, the Affordable Care Act requirements do not apply. Here is a list of some of the best, top-rated medical insurance plans in the US, published by Visitors Coverage, meant for such green card holders, immigrants or permanent residents in the country. With the purchase of any of them, you can stay assured of quality health coverage for up to 3 years or more.
Limited Plans: Inbound USA, Inbound Guest and Inbound Immigrant are the limited yet fixed coverage health insurance plans administered by Seven Corners. For every service or treatment, the plan will pay a pre-defined fixed dollar amount. Although the policy covers for a certain period, which is its outer limit, there are services and treatments that are valid for a limited time.
Features of the Limited Plans
- These are essentially USA only plans.
- Offers restrictive and very limited and International travel coverage.
- The deductible is applied to the fixed benefit amounts and not the amount that the doctor’s charge.
- These plans have a per-incident deductible which applies once to each separate injury or sickness.
Comprehensive Plans: For coverage within USA and Canada, green card holders can opt for comprehensive plans like Green Cover, administered by Seven Corners, and the Bridge Plan, administered by PIU.
How do These Work?
These comprehensive plans pay 80% to $10,000 and then 100%, after deductibles. Firstly, the insured needs to pay the accumulated medical expenses until the deductibles are met. After this, the insurance will pay 80% of the accumulated eligible expenses up to $10,000. After this amount, the insurance will pay 100% of the accumulated eligible expenses up to the policy maximum.
You should know that any expenses incurred by the health insurance plan holder beyond the policy maximum will be his own responsibility.
Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC’s to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I’ve learned in life, through this blog. It’s read today by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here’s my full story on who I am and why I blog. Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! 🙂