Eligibility and Immigration
Most Immigrants Are Ordered to Have Health Coverage
Under the Affordable Care Act, most individuals who are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or lawfully existing immigrants are required to have health coverage. There is a tax fine — identified as the “shared responsibility payment” — for those who do not possess health coverage and do not qualify for an exception. Although the new tax law may have affected the execution of this tax.
Lawfully present individuals in the United States include:
U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals.
Lawful temporary residents.
Lawful permanent residents or (“green card holders”).
Persons are fleeing oppression, including refugees and asylees.
Other philanthropic immigrants, including those awarded temporary protected status.
Non-immigrant Status holders (this includes work visas and student visas holders).
See www.healthcare.gov/immigrants/immigration-status to gain additional knowledge and for a complete list of the groups that are considered lawfully present.
People who are not legally present are excluded from the obligation to have health insurance. They need to apply for an exemption immediately with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on their federal income tax return.
Immigrants & New Comers Can Apply for Health Care Coverage Through Covered California
Both lawfully present and unlawfully present individuals can apply via Covered California to see if they are eligible for health plan benefits through Covered California or Medi-Cal. Newcomers who are not lawfully present are not qualified to purchase a health plan through Covered California; though, they may be qualified for coverage through Medi-Cal.
For lawful permanent residents who are seeking health insurance coverage via Covered California or Medi-Cal, there is no “waiting period” or “five-year bar.”
Immigrants who are not legally present in the US can apply through Covered California to see if they are qualified for health plan options through Medi-Cal, although the benefits may be restricted. Immigrants who are not lawfully present can also purchase private health insurance coverage on their outside of Covered California. Also, some counties offer other health care benefits for which immigrants who are not lawfully present might qualify.
Individuals who are under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are not deemed lawfully present. They are not eligible to purchase a Covered California health plan or obtain economic assistance. However, they are not needed to pay a tax penalty if they lack health insurance. These people may also be eligible for Medi-Cal and can request Medi-Cal through Covered California or at a county Medi-Cal office.
Immigrants Can Receive Financial Assistance to Help Pay for Their Health Care Coverage
U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawfully present people who satisfy all other qualification requirements, such as California state residency, may be qualified to purchase a health insurance plan via Covered California and may be able to receive for financial assistance.
Annual household income is calculated by the income of the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse (if any) and any child or dependent of the taxpayer who is required to file a tax return. Individuals who have not filed federal taxes in the past may still be eligible for financial assistance, but they have to accept to file taxes for the future tax year (under an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number [ITIN] or a Social Security number).
Buying Insurance Within Covered California and Receiving Financial Assistance to Pay for the Insurance Does Not Make an Individual a “Public Charge”
In general, applying for health insurance coverage via Covered California and receiving financial assistance for a Covered California health plan or getting low- or no-cost coverage through Medi-Cal will not make an individual a “public charge.” It will not alter the consumer’s immigration status, their possibilities of becoming a lawful permanent resident or their likelihoods of becoming a naturalized citizen. The exemptions are if the person receives long-term care in a medical/nursing home or other facility paid for by the government through the Medi-Cal program or appears not to be honesty on their application for health coverage.
Immigrants Not Lawfully Present Can Apply on Behalf of Their Lawfully Present Family Members
Individuals who are not lawfully present may register for coverage through Covered California for their lawfully present family members (such as a child dependent), who may be eligible for coverage through a Covered California plan or Medi-Cal.
Additionally, Covered California supports any U.S. citizen or person who is lawfully present to apply for health care coverage within Covered California even if they have family members in their household who are not lawfully present or undocumented. Families with mixed immigration status can, however, apply for health coverage through Covered California.
Immigrants Seeking to Enroll in Health Insurance Coverage Through Covered California Will Be Required for Information to Verify Their Immigration Status
The government requires lawfully present individuals who register in a Covered California health insurance system to show evidence of lawful presence.
Covered California only requires the immigration status of the person who is inquiring the health coverage. Family members who are not asking for health insurance coverage for themselves will not be asked for their emigration status.
All information provided by individuals who are applying for coverage within the Covered California program— and other health care exchanges — will not be used for any reason other than to confirm eligibility and ensure the effective administration of the health care exchange.
Documents Used to Verify Enrollment Into Covered California
If a purchaser wants to enroll in health coverage through Covered California but does not want to apply for financial assistance, either due to them not wanting assistance in paying for their health coverage or because they do not believe they are eligible for economic assistance, all they need to provide is:
Their Social Security number, if they are a U.S. citizen; or, if they do not possess a Social Security number or are a lawfully present individual, their comparable documentation data (for instance, a record of naturalization, a copy of a U.S. passport, a declaration of citizenship, a U.S. birth certificate and a photographed license or residency card, or evidence of lawful presence). In the following list of acceptable immigration documents for proof of legal presence.
If a consumer is inquiring about financial assistance to help them afford their monthly health insurance premium costs, they will be required to provide additional information through the enrollment process, to verify their earnings, as well as their citizenship and residency. This information includes:
Commonly Used Immigration Documents
Federal tax information.
Social Security numbers or evidence of citizenship, or document information for lawfully present individuals, as defined above.
Employer and income data for everyone in the consumer’s household.
Immigration VISASImmigration VISAS
Getting Help With Enrollment
If an individual needs in-language assistance applying for health insurance coverage through Covered California, or help to present documents to verify their lawful presence standing or status, they may call (800) 300-1506 (TTY:  889-4500) to get assistance from Covered California’s Service Center or find free, confidential, in-person assistance from a Covered California Certified Enrollment Counselor or Certified Insurance Agent near them.