Is it possible to access some private health insurance for undocumented immigrants ? Unfortunately, immigrants in an irregular situation in the United States still have many limitations to access medical coverage. This is because they are not eligible for programs like Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP. Likewise, they are not usually qualified to apply for benefits from the Health Insurance Marketplace.
However, some immigrants may be able to access benefits through employment coverage. Likewise, there are alternatives in which coverage can be obtained through the spouse. However, below we will briefly explore health care options for undocumented immigrants.
Private health insurance alternatives for undocumented immigrants
There are some possibilities of accessing some private health insurance for undocumented immigrants. However, they are usually conditioned in certain places and only for some cases and small groups of people. However, the limitations, the lack of supply and the lack of subsidies mean that this type of coverage has very high costs.
First of all, we can mention the health program for undocumented students . It is a state fund that is present in Washington DC and in at least six other states. In this way, it depends on state funds to cover minors with eligible income , regardless of immigration status.
On the other hand, the state of California extended this program to young adults. In this way, low-income people under the age of 26 have the possibility of receiving Medicaid coverage. Which has been named as Medi-Cal in California.
How to receive medical attention being undocumented?
The highest percentage rate of people without insurance is found within the immigrant population in an irregular situation. This is due to federal limitations regarding access to the benefits of a health policy. In addition to the high cost that the health system in the country can mean.
However, immigrants have the ability to access low-cost care through community health centers . However, the services offered by this class of clinics are usually limited. That is, they guarantee essential, primary or preventive care . Consequently, it becomes difficult for an immigrant with an irregular status to receive specialized health services.
Similarly, and in accordance with Federal Law, hospitals are required to offer emergency care . In this sense, they must evaluate and stabilize everyone who requires emergency care, regardless of their immigration status.
This is thanks to institutions such as Medicaid helping to offset the costs borne by hospitals for emergency care for undocumented immigrants.
Medical insurance programs for undocumented immigrants in the USA
Among the main medical aid programs for immigrants are Medicaid and CHIP. However, these are health aid services promoted by the federal government.
In essential terms, such programs provide health care to migrants. But, its benefits are usually limited. That is, they are, for the most part, conditioned to residents with legal status.
In this sense, the Medicaid and CHIP programs are characterized by the following:
In principle, they were made more flexible for qualified migrants who entered the country before 1996.
On the other hand, to access this service, it is necessary to be a legal resident with at least 5 years of uninterrupted stay in the United States .
Similarly, its coverage was recently expanded for foreign refugees and asylees.
In the latter case, it is not mandatory to have to wait 5 years to access said insurance.
Similarly, it should also be taken into account that each state has its own regulations on health insurance for undocumented immigrants . Therefore, despite the fact that many maintain many limitations, some have relaxed their policies for specific groups.
This evolution has been evidenced mostly in states with large immigrant populations. In which, care for children and pregnant women with legal residence have been prioritized. But, there are cases, such as the state of Illinois, where a certain population of undocumented immigrants is absorbed.
Along these lines, below we will present a summary of private health insurance policies for undocumented immigrants in the most important states.
In the state of California there is a health insurance policy for the following groups :
Qualified immigrants with 5 years or more in the country.
Victims of human trafficking.
Applicants for certain visas (u).
Legal children and women (which do not require 5 years of residence).
Similarly, California is one of the few states that offers private health insurance services for undocumented immigrants , such as those mentioned below:
Comprehensive diagnostic medical services.
Treatments for breast or cervical cancer.
It is also important to remember that through the Medi-Cal program , young people under 26 years of age can access certain health services regardless of their immigration status.
The state of Illinois is one of the entities that offers the most private health insurance benefits for undocumented immigrants. In this way, through the All Kids program , children, regardless of their immigration status, have access to health services. However, in said program, families must assume copayments and premiums , according to certain economic conditions.
Other groups that can benefit from medical coverage for undocumented immigrants are the following:
Adults age 65 and older living on income 100% of the federal poverty line.
Victims of mistreatment, torture or human trafficking. They can receive medical coverage for 24 months, which can be extended to 36 months, depending on their conditions.
Pregnant women can access prenatal care.
T, U, asylum or refugee visa applicants.
Finally, there is a care program for undocumented immigrants with terminal kidney disease.
In Minnesota, pregnant women can access low-cost private health insurance for undocumented immigrants . Likewise, victims of torture who receive care from the Center for Victims of Torture and DACA beneficiaries are included.
On the other hand, through the MinnesotaCare program , non-citizens with incomes of 200% of the federal poverty line are covered. Also, they are not eligible for Medicaid due to their immigration status.
Why is it important to have private health insurance for undocumented immigrants?
Unfortunately, the policies of the federal government do not progress in the development of circumstances for access to private health insurance for undocumented immigrants. That is why most non-citizens lack health care.
However, it is crucial to keep in mind that hospitals are currently obliged to care for all patients regardless of their immigration status. However, through programs like Medicaid, you may be able to get help paying bills in certain medical emergencies.