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Some Immigrants to U.S. Now Must Have Health Insurance to Enter the Country

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project
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President Trump issued a presidential proclamation on October 4, 2019. It says that, starting November 3, 2019, the United States will not let some groups of immigrants enter the U.S. if they cannot show they have health insurance or another way to pay for their health care. #8120EN

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What's new?

President Trump issued a presidential proclamation on October 4, 2019. It says that, starting November 3, 2019, the United States will not let some groups of immigrants enter the U.S. if they cannot show they have health insurance or another way to pay for their health care.

The proclamation only affects people applying for immigrants visas outside the U.S.  It does not apply to people who apply for LPR status ("adjustment of status") with USCIS inside the U.S.

I am trying to immigrate to the U.S. Does this proclamation apply to me?

It might.  It applies to certain people trying to get immigrant visas outside the U.S. (at a consulate), including:

  • Spouses and fiancés or fiancées of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs)

  • children of LPRs who are 18 to 21 years old

  • children under 18 travelling with a parent who is also immigrating

  • adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and LPRs

  • people with diversity visas

  • people with employment-based immigrant visas

  • some religious workers

  • parents of U.S. citizens who cannot show that their health care will not impose a real burden on the U.S. health care system

Are there any exceptions to this?

Yes. The proclamation exempts (leaves out) some types of immigrants. It does not apply to you if any of these describe you:

  • you were issued a visa before November 3, 2019

  • you are an LPR returning to the U.S. after a long absence

  • you are the unmarried child of U.S. citizens

  • you are the adopted child of U.S. citizens

  • you are applying for an Iraq/Afghani Special Immigrant visa

  • you are a child under age 18, unless the proclamation applies to your parents traveling with you

  • you are a parent of adult U.S. citizens, if you can prove that your health care will not be a burden on the U.S. health care system

  • your entry into the U.S. would help law enforcement objectives or be in the national interest

What do I need to do?

You must be able to show one of these:

  • You will have one of the required kinds of health insurance within 30 days after entering the U.S.

  • You have financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical expenses

What kind of insurance do I need to have?

You must have one of these kinds:

  • An employer-sponsored health plan

  • An unsubsidized (no help from the government) plan that you buy on the health insurance market

  • Certain short-term health plans approved by the Trump administration

  • A catastrophic plan (covers emergencies only)

  • Coverage under a family member's plan

  • A TRICARE plan or other coverage for military members and veterans

  • A visitor health insurance plan

  • A Medicare plan

  • other health plans as determined by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

  • Medicaid (Washington Apple Health) for children age 18 and under

Can I use Medicaid coverage to meet the requirement?

Not if you are an adult. Medicaid coverage only meets the requirement if it is for children age 18 and under.

 

This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.
This information is current as of October 2019.
© 2019 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014
(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial use only.)

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Last Review and Update: Oct 09, 2019
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