Can Undocumented Immigrants Get Medicaid? – Overview
Healthcare is an essential requirement for everything in our lives. If you don’t have access to preventive services and medical treatments when needed, it becomes hard to live, work and thrive. This is true irrespective of where you live or where you belong to.
Though access to healthcare is pretty simple in the United States for most, it is especially difficult for others. Several obstacles prevent significant numbers of people living in the US from access to affordable healthcare and medical services.
Being an immigrant, especially an undocumented immigrant makes things even more difficult. But, despite your status in the country, you have a right to live a healthy and productive life. This begins with easy access to healthcare services whenever you need them.
However, as the country’s healthcare system is quite complex, it can be difficult for undocumented immigrants to decide where to seek health and medical care in the United States. So, let’s take a closer look and see if undocumented immigrants can get Medicaid or other health insurance plans.
Undocumented Immigrants and Medicaid or Medicare
Generally, undocumented immigrants do not have access to Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP or other similar government-sponsored health insurance programs or public insurance plans. In addition, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace is also out of bounds for undocumented immigrants.
However, undocumented immigrants can still choose from several public insurance options.
For instance, as an undocumented immigrant experiencing serious symptoms and in need of immediate medical attention, you may be able to qualify for a short-term Emergency Medicaid option.
However, each state has its individual Medicaid program, so specific requirements can differ depending on where you live. Some states also offer their version of CHIP for undocumented children, which includes Washington state, Connecticut, and a few others.
Health Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants
Health insurance is inherently quite complex. There are numerous terms and jargon to know and different varieties of insurance policies to be aware of. Still, medical care and health insurance are inseparable in the US, so you must be aware of the coverage options you can choose.
Generally, there are several kinds of health and medical insurance in the US marketplace, but due to few laws, insurance coverage for undocumented immigrants is significantly limited.
Regardless of this, you still have the right to obtain private health insurance.
Private Health Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants
Undocumented immigrants cannot participate in Medicaid, Medicare or similar federal-funded insurance programs, but they can still buy private health insurance coverage.
Private health insurance (commercial insurance) is a type of health insurance policy offered by a private insurance company. If you work in an organization that offers health insurance as part of hiring, then you can choose to get employer-sponsored insurance. This is the best advisable option for undocumented immigrants.
In addition, if your employer does not provide health insurance coverage, then you can easily buy a private health insurance policy directly from the insurance provider.
However, remember that buying private health insurance plans can be quite expensive, especially if you are an undocumented immigrant and work at a minimum-wage job. This is because, for undocumented immigrants, access to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is blocked.
The ACA is a service that allows a person to search for and buy insurance plans, including subsidized insurance policies. A subsidy is a form of tax credit that makes insurance plans cheaper for policyholders.
Still, the only option for undocumented immigrants today is to buy the more expensive non-ACA Marketplace private insurance plans.
To find the best-suited private insurance coverage, it is advisable to consult with an insurance enrollment assistant near you. You can find one easily with this Find Local Help tool at – https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/#/.
Additionally, if you want enrollment advice, you can also check the National Immigration Legal Services Directory at https://www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory/.
Medical Care For Undocumented Workers in the US
Irrespective of your immigration status or insurance, you still have the right to receive prompt medical care in the United States.
If you have any form of health insurance, then you should seek medical treatment at a place covered under your insurance provider’s network. You can easily find the list of healthcare providers under your insurance coverage by talking to your private insurance provider or checking the information online.
Apart from this, if you don’t have health insurance and are an undocumented immigrant in the US, you can still seek medical and health care at public and critical access hospitals, emergency rooms, outpatient facilities, etc.
Though health insurance in the US is quite expensive, several organizations provide healthcare at little to no cost. This may include free clinics and federally-qualified health centers (FQHC).
If you live in the United States, even as an undocumented immigrant, you can receive medical care whenever you need it. This is true regardless of where you came from or your immigration status.
Despite several obstacles to accessing healthcare services for undocumented immigrants, there are still several options to receive affordable medical and healthcare using private health insurance plans.