Obtaining health insurance, whether through a private provider or through Obama Care, is a requirement for many immigrants, and those that are required to obtain health insurance, but do not, are subject to the Obama Care tax penalties.
Immigrants who are required to have health insurance are:
- Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR/Green Card holder)
- Cuban/Haitian entrants
- Those paroled into the U.S.
- Conditional entrants granted before 1980
- Battered Spouses, Children and Parents
- Victims of traﬃcking and their spouses, children, siblings or parents
- Those granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under the Convention against Torture (CAT)
- Individuals with Non-immigrant Status (includes worker visas, student visas, and citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau)
- Individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Individuals with Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
- Individuals with Deferred Action Status, except for those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
- Lawful Temporary Residents
- Individuals with administrative order staying removal issued by the Department of Homeland Security
- Members of a federally-recognized Indian tribe or American Indian Born in Canada
- Residents of American Samoa
- Applicants for TPS with employment authorization
- Applicants for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Applicants for Victim of Traﬃcking Visa
- Applicants for Adjustment of Status
- Applicants for Asylum whose application has been pending for at least 180 days and has work authorization or is under the age of 14
- Applicants for Withholding of Deportation or Removal whose application has been pending for at least 180 days and has work authorization or is under the age of 14
- Registry applicants with work authorization
- Order of Supervision with work authorization
- Applicants for cancellation of removal or suspension of deportation with work authorization
- Applicants for legalization under IRCA with work authorization
- Applicants for legalization under the LIFE Act with work authorization
While these immigrants must have health insurance, they will generally not be eligible for Medicaid. These immigrants are subject to tax penalties if they do not have insurance, unless they fall into one of the exemptions from those penalties. Those exemptions include:
- Coverage would cost more that 8% of their household income
- Those below the threshold required for ﬁling taxes
- Those who the Health Insurance Marketplace has certiﬁed have suﬀered a hardship that makes them unable to obtain coverage
- Those who qualify for a coverage gap exemption
- Those who are incarcerated
Being young and healthy is not an excuse not to get insured. The odds of dying in a car accident, at 1 in 6,700, are much, much higher than the odds of winning the lottery, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 84. The odds of being injured in a car accident are much higher than the odds of dying in one. Serious injuries require medical services, whether one is young and healthy, or not. Serious injuries can occur in everyday life, including sports participation. These injuries can occur even in sports that entail very little motion, such as arm wrestling. As viewer of the AMC series “Game of Arms” can attest, arm wrestlers can break tendons and bones, even though they are healthy and strong, and suﬀer no body collissions.
Likewise, disease does not discriminate based on age or apparent health. Though not as prevalent among the young and healthy, it can and does strike when least expected.
If you are one of the immigrants who are required to be insured, and your employer does not provide medical insurance, then you must sign up for Obama Care or you will likely be subject to the penalties for not signing up. In California, you can sign up through CoveredCA.com.
Unfortunately, due to Republican pressures, Obama Care is not available to those immigrants who are not in valid status in the US. From a public health perspective, that is extremely bad policy, but it is a policy that only Congress can resolve. Congress needs to resolve it together with comprehensive immigration reform.
From: Best Health Care Degrees