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Best Medical Insurance for Green Card Holders

Update: President Donald Trump issued a proclamation that will deny visas to immigrants who cannot prove they will get health insurance.

So, you’ve immigrated to USA recently and need a medical insurance for time being. Perfect! I’m glad you thought about medical insurance during this time.

Because, without medical insurance, be it for short term travel or immigration, things can be very expensive in USA. If you are a recent immigrant, I strongly suggest you get a temporary medical insurance.

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.

Summary: Best Insurance for Green Card Holders
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Best Health Insurance for Green Card Holders & New Immigrants to USA

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.

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Here is a list of some of the best, top-rated medical insurance plans in the US, published by Insubuy, meant for such green card holders, immigrants or permanent residents in the country.

Here is a list of best insurance for green card holders.

1. Patriot America Plus

Patriot America Plus, underwritten by Sirius International is a great temporary health insurance plan for green card holders living or visiting the USA.

It participates in the United Healthcare PPO Network. Highlight of this plan is that, after the deductible, it pays 100% of policy maximum. Outside of the PPO network, it pays 80% to $50,000, then 100% to policy maximum.

For walk-ins, there’s a $15 co-pay unless $0 deductible.

Patriot America Plus Travel Insurance Plan Summary

Type of PlanComprehensive
Administered ByIMG
UnderwriterSirius International
Min. Coverage5 Days
Max. Coverage2 Years
Coverage AreasUSA, International
RenewableYes
RefundsYes
CancellationPossible
For Visa TypesB1/B2
Available forNon US Residents, US Visitors
ProviderUnited Healthcare
Restricted StatesNone
Acute On-Set of Pre-Existing ConditionsCovered

2. Patriot Platinum America

This policy is very similar to the Patriot America Plus but is a lighter version of it. The difference is that in Patriot America Plus it considers acute onset of pre-existing conditions. And offers medical to policy maximum for people under 70 years. And offers medical evacuation up to $25,000.

Patriot Platinum Travel Insurance Plan Summary

Type of PlanComprehensive
Administered ByIMG
UnderwriterSirius International
Min. Coverage5 Days
Max. Coverage3 Years
Coverage AreasUSA, International
RenewableYes
RefundsYes
CancellationPossible
For Visa TypesB1/B2
Available forNon US Residents, US Visitors
ProviderUnited Healthcare
Restricted StatesNone
Acute On-Set of Pre-Existing ConditionsCovered

4. Visitors Care

Visitors Care is a limited coverage plan and is underwritten by Sirius International.

It’s not a PPO plan so you can go to whichever provider/hospital you choose. In this plan, after the deductible, plan pays fixed amounts for each procedure and you have to pay the difference.

Visitors Care Travel Insurance Plan Summary

Type of PlanLimited Coverage
Administered ByIMG
UnderwriterSirius International
Min. Coverage5 Days
Max. Coverage1 Year
Coverage AreasUSA, International
RenewableYes
RefundsYes
CancellationPossible
For Visa TypesB1/B2
Available forUS Residents, Non US Residents, US Visitors
ProviderFirst Health Network
Restricted StatesMaryland
Acute On-Set of Pre-Existing ConditionsOptional
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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 Immigrants – How it Works

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.

Which are the best medical insurance plans for green card holders?

To summarize, the best medical insurance plans for green card holders are…

  1. Patriot America Plus
  2. Visitors Care and
  3. Patriot Platinum America

Frequently Asked Questions

Can green card holders get health insurance?

Yes. There are different ways green card holders can get health insurance. Depending on your age and period of stay in the United States, you can apply for a US domestic insurance (offered by Govt. like Obamacare, Medicare etc) or get a short term medical insurance.

Just being a green card holder is not enough to figure out whether you are eligible for Obamacare or Medicare. You will need to consider how long you have stayed in the US, whether or not you have worked in the US, when and how long will you be traveling out of the country etc.

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I suggest you contact a attorney near you to figure this out. Having said that, if you are awaiting to be enrolled in any medical insurance or for some reason don’t have medical insurance benefits, getting a temporary medical insurance is a good idea.

Can an immigrant get health insurance?

Yes. If you are a legal immigrant, there are many ways for you to get enrolled for short term medical insurance while you are awaiting to be enrolled in a Government medical insurance program (or doesn’t qualify for any other reason).

If you are a green card holder, here are your best options to get medical insurance.

Are green card holders eligible for Medicare?

Yes, If you are a Green card holder and has worked in the USA for 40 quarters, you are eligible for Medicare. And if you are a  permanent resident in the US for 5 years and hold a Green card, you can purchase Medicare directly from the Government.

Here is some information on how to apply for Medicare.

Can sponsors of Green card holders add parents to their insurance plan?

As far as I know, it’s not possible. As you can only add your dependents to your insurance plans. And dependents are spouse and children, not your parents or relatives.

All the best! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Summary: Best Insurance for Green Card Holders
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About the author

Mani Karthik

In my pursuit of happiness, I share everything I've learned, on this blog. From productivity to spirituality and everything in between. I quit my cozy job in the USA to pursue my passion - blogging. Today, I make five times what my US job paid. More than the money, I love the freedom it gives me to make my own choices. Come join me. Start blogging! :) WhatsApp : +0014084894785

3 Comments

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  • Hello Mr. Mani, Thanks for this detailed article. Greatly helps! I have a specific question and would like to see if you have some guidance for my situation. My parents are 76 years and 81 years old. While my father is in a healthy situation, my mother recently went through a treatment for Lymphoma and got 100% cured. Now, we are trying to apply Green card for them and bring them to US. Our intention is to have an extensive healthcare insurance coverage for them. My questions are:
    1. What sort of medical insurance plan we can go for that is also not-so-expensive? Are we allowed to go for Obamacare?
    2. When do we apply for the same? Will applying GC make it easier and cheaper?
    3. Our expectation is to get extensive medical coverage.

    Appreciate if you have any guidance to these requirement. And, thanks a lot in advance.

    Regards
    Venkat

  • Hai Mr.Karthik, I am curious about one thing. Idly curious you can say. Probably you might be able to solve my curiosity.
    My uncle who is now about 74 has gone to California with his wife. His daughter has sponsored them. He has not told anything clearly about what will happen if he falls ill there. He simply says that his daughter will see to it. Then went last year and another four years to go before they can apply for Medicare. I have been reading about Medicare, Medicaid and Obama Care and all. Could not understand it properly but got a rough idea. My doubt is—‘Is it not necessary for them to purchase medical insurance from Marketplace till they qualify for Medicare’? Even after the five years of ‘incubation period’ how they can get Medicare as he or his wife has not contributed anything to the Federal Medicaid Fund(whatever it may be called).
    He may not have any money. He is a pauper for all practical purposes. But his daughter is earning. Will he be then eligible for Medi-Cal? ForMedi-Cal eligibility is the sponsor’s income is also included with that of the individual?
    Idle curiosity. As you know ‘An idle mind is a Devil’s workshop’.
    Regards,
    V.K.Guptan

    • Hi,

      Yes you are right. He would need to buy a medical insurance while he is awaiting his benefits. The companies I have mentioned above are good plans to pick from. There are few options for him to choose and most of them are not expensive. Reg: Medical eligibility, I suggest you check with the official bodies in US as things might have changed and updated.

      Essentially, as he is a new immigrant (or visitor – not clear from your response) he needs to get temporary medical insurance. He can always extend them if needed later.

      Here are some good options.

      Let me know if you have any doubts. All the best!

Mani Karthik

Hi, I’m Mani Karthik.
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