Editor’s note: For people buying on the individual market who want health insurance starting Jan. 1, the deadline to sign up is Monday, Dec. 23. State of Health is running one post a day with questions and answers on both the Affordable Care Act and Covered California until that deadline. This installment comes from KQED’s Obamacare Guide, written specifically for Californians.
The headline for immigrants is that if you are “lawfully present” (the legal term of art), you are eligible for the benefits — and responsibilities — of the Affordable Care Act. This means you may qualify for subsidies to purchase insurance, but it also means you may have to pay a penalty if you do not carry health insurance. While naturalized citizens and green card holders may be aware of how Obamacare affects them, for other immigrants, access to these kinds of benefits is new. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for any benefits of the ACA. They do not have to pay a penalty if they do not carry health insurance.
I Am in the U.S. Legally, But I Do Not Have a Green Card. I Am Here under a Different Kind of Visa. What Does the Health Law Mean to Me?
U.S. law includes a wide variety of ways in which immigrants can be lawfully present, even if they are not green card holders. Continue reading