Did you know that health coverage in the United States for immigrants is an essential entry requirement? During the last quarter of 2019, the United States government issued a regulation that requires new immigrants to have health insurance. In addition to being a very necessary service for every inhabitant who lives in the country.
For this reason, we bring this guide to let you know in a simple way what health insurance for immigrants is and what it is about. Likewise, we will explore alternatives for newcomers. Again, we will detail what benefits to expect according to your possibilities as an immigrant.
What Is Health Coverage for Immigrants in The United States?
Health coverage or medical insurance for immigrants in the United States are policies designed especially for new immigrants. This type of insurance is usually directed to people with a green card (Green Card) by members of their family. Similarly, it is available for people who have an H4 or F2 visa.
The purpose of this type of plan is to offer health insurance coverage to newcomers. So that this way they can have a backup in case of illness or accident. Therefore, it can mean an economic guarantee when using any health service.
In this sense, it is possible to find long-term plans with structured characteristics for new migrants. Which offer coverage in policies that can range from 2 to 5 years. However, they are usually intended exclusively for people with “Green Cards” or in the process of changing residence.
How Does Health Coverage For Immigrants Work?
The health system of the United States is usually paid, for the most part, through medical insurance. That is why, being in the country, it is essential to have a health policy to guarantee care in health centers.
In this way, medical insurance is understood as a policy that is contracted by the beneficiary. He agrees to provide a recurring payment to the insurance company. The latter, in return, agrees to pay a previously established amount of the cost of the beneficiary’s medical care.
Taking into account that all plans are different, a large part of health insurance is structured as follows:
- Benefits are the benefits for which the beneficiary pays. These can usually include checkups, medications, and medical care.
- Networks – This is the network of care facilities, hospitals, medical groups, or health care providers. That is the operational services that are contracted in the health plan.
- Costs – These refer to the premiums, deductibles, copays, or coinsurance that affect health care expenses.
These benefits can be contracted through a private or public plan. However, in most cases, new immigrants cannot access public plans for a certain period.
Why Do I Need Immigrant Health Coverage?
First of all, health insurance is counted as an essential requirement to enter the US. This is because, without it, it is very likely that you will be denied a visa to enter the country legally.
Likewise, it is considered risky not to have a health policy in the US, even more so for new immigrants. This is because they are classified as a vulnerable population given the new environment where they find themselves.
On the other hand, an immigrant must have a mandatory waiting period to access national health insurance. As a consequence, it is necessary to purchase an interim insurance plan.
How Much Does Health Insurance Cost Monthly?
The costs of health insurance in the United States can vary according to certain characteristics. In the first place, it is conditioned by taking into account the coverage contracted or offered by the insurer. In addition, it evaluates age, location, income levels, and whether there are family members or beneficiaries.
In this sense, to know the real price of health insurance premiums, it is necessary to evaluate the offers available in the market. In this way, you must consider the deductibles, your premiums, and other characteristics such as shared expenses and out-of-pocket limits.
Following this line, according to the latest eHealth studies on the ACA plans; at the end of 2021, a national median premium hovered around at least $456 for individual plans. On the other hand, for family policies, it can reach up to $1,152, for a small family group.
Characteristics of Health Insurance for US Immigrants
Currently, new immigrants are often not eligible for national insurance plans. That’s why some people buy health insurance through a plan provided by an employer. Otherwise, it is necessary to obtain it individually.
In this sense, an immigrant insurance plan may have the following aspects:
- These are plans that can be purchased with a short-term validity or up to 5 years.
- Some companies allow subscriptions even 24 months after you enter the United States.
- It is possible to acquire renewable plans for monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual periods.
- Insurance plans for immigrants in the United States serve as a temporary bridge to being eligible for a domestic health policy.
As we mentioned earlier, most health care in the United States is paid for through health insurance. That is why, as an immigrant, you must have a health policy to guarantee medical attention in cases of emergency or accident.
However, you can buy health insurance for immigrants in the United States, according to your specific circumstances:
- If you maintain constant trips from your country of origin to the United States, you still require an insurance policy. However, it is necessary to hire an ideal plan taking into account your needs.
- If you are a legal permanent resident of the United States, you can purchase a policy that works as a bridge until you are eligible for government coverage.
In general, the policies offered for frequent travelers tend to exclude coverage such as preventive care. Likewise, when you receive your residence card you no longer have to renew your immigrant policy. In this case, it is advisable to take out valid insurance for a permanent resident of the USA.
Read More: How Does Health Insurance Work in The USA?