Around 12.9% of the United States’ total population is foreign-born. These immigrants had recently moved to the country or people whose parents moved to the country when they were young. You could also consult an immigration law firm to find out more.
Although some immigrant groups refuse government aid, many immigrants accept governmental aid to access medical care or health coverage. However, getting access to these coverages can be difficult because not all immigrants are automatically qualified for them.
Some immigrants must spend years trying to gain citizenship before receiving their health coverage. Also, even if an immigrant has lived in the country for many years and has children who are U.S citizens, they may not be eligible for certain medications or preventative care.
Categories That Enable Immigrants to Get Health Care
Currently, there are few health coverages for immigrants in the United States. Although, some government programs such as Medicaid and SCHIP offer a medical range to recent immigrants and children of immigrants alike. Some states also offer more extensive medical benefits than others, so it is essential to check with your state’s Department of Health.
- Immigrants will be able to get healthcare if they fall into these categories:
- Those who were once permanent residents but lost their status and returned home
- Victims of trafficking and violence against women and children,
- Or those who fit into one of the categories above and have a pending application for permanent residence or “green card.”
In addition, although there are no specific immigration requirements for receiving Medicare, certain immigrants who do not have a green card may be eligible for it. Medicare is supported by taxes and is federally funded. It provides medical coverages to anyone aged 65 and older and people who fit into the federal aid category (legal immigrants).
Health Insurance Plans for Low-Income Families
Some states give Complete Health Insurance Plans (CHIP) to children of low-income families regardless of their immigration status. Additionally, states can choose to use CHIP money for health care services for all minors, including those with undocumented immigrant parents. Currently, 12 states offer this type of coverage.
However, like most other programs directed at immigrants, there are specific eligibility requirements regarding financial needs. Lastly, some local governments provide health care to children of their citizenship status through Uncompensated Care programs. There are also immigration law firms that could help you look for health care programs.
The PPACA Law for Younger Immigrants
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed by President Obama in 2010, requires children to stay on their parent’s insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.
This law does not apply to every immigrant child, but it gives some younger immigrants a chance to receive health care coverage even if their parents do not have it. Additionally, the PPACA states that certain people, including legal permanent residents, refugees, and asylees, can get tax credits for purchasing private individual plans so long as they meet income requirements.
Unfortunately, many recent changes to the healthcare system have made it harder for immigrants—who are already ineligible for assistance from the government—to purchase health care coverage and receive medical treatment.
Organizations and Programs Helping Immigrants With Health Care
Many different organizations and programs help immigrants get health care. These include:
- The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) helps people understand immigration law, what they can do if their rights have been violated, and find legal information.
- The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) advocates issues surrounding immigrant rights.
- The National Health Law Program is an organization that produces resources to help low-income individuals get access to healthcare.
- The American Immigration Lawyers Association also offers services for people looking for lawyers who specialize in immigration.
Lastly, numerous non-profit groups offer free or inexpensive health care to immigrants. They usually collect donations from churches or other religious organizations, so they are not government-funded.
Many of these services are not covered by Medicaid or other government programs that provide healthcare for low-income people, so they are accommodating for immigrants who cannot afford to pay out of pocket.
The Complexity of Healthcare for Immigrants
In conclusion, health care for immigrants is a complex issue that has changed over the years. In general, immigrants do not qualify for government-subsidized health care or tax credits under the PPACA unless they fall into specific categories and meet income requirements.
Some states and local governments offer specific health care to immigrants with low incomes, but these programs vary from state to state. Many non-profit organizations and religious groups also help provide accessible and inexpensive medical services to immigrant communities.
This means that although there is no simple answer as to what health coverages an immigrant may be eligible for in the current system, there are still ways to receive medical treatment if they need it.
Will Asking Help from Immigration Attorneys Help?
The answer is yes; you should ask for help from immigration lawyers for your case. Immigration law is very complex, and many terms might not be familiar to you, so it may be challenging to understand the terminology used in your case without an experienced immigration lawyer.
Immigration lawyers can determine which immigration status best fits your situation based on the facts of your case. They will also be able to tell you what documents are necessary for applying under a certain status and how long it will take before you get a decision on your application.
It’s essential to hire an experienced attorney because they can explain the consequences of each different option available to you. For example, if you’re looking into getting permanent residence through marriage, they can tell you what problems you might encounter if your spouse has ever filed for bankruptcy.
An immigration attorney can also help you prepare the proper forms and ensure that your application is correctly filled out.
They can even help you avoid common mistakes, which could delay the process of getting a decision on your case. For example, they’ll tell you if certain documents need to be submitted with each form.
With all this said, it’s essential to choose an attorney carefully. Ask them about their experience, how long they have practiced law, research them online- speak with people who have used their services before. It’s also essential to ask for references so you can talk with other people who have hired them in the past to see how they performed.
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