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Health Insurance for a Visa Holder

Keep in mind...
  • If you are in the country legally on a visa, you are able to enroll in an American medical insurance plan either on the Marketplace or through a private broker
  • Some visa holders are eligible for premium tax credits through the Healthcare Marketplace if their income meets the requirements
  • If you have a green card, you may be able to enroll in a government funded health insurance program
  • When you apply for a health insurance plan, you will need to submit a copy of your visa paperwork or other documentation
  • If you overstay your visa or you are in the country illegally another way, you are not eligible for health insurance

Most visa holders are able to get health insurance through the Marketplace or by purchasing a plan from a private health insurance broker. Other legal immigrants are also eligible to purchase plans in this way. In most cases, you will have to apply for a plan during the open enrollment period. If you recently obtained your visa, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period.

If you have a worker visa, a student visa, a U visa, or a T visa, you are able to buy a Marketplace plan.

Green card holders, refugees, and those with a temporary protected status can all purchase plans on the Marketplace, as well. Our specialists can help all visa holders find an affordable plan.

If you are on a student visa, your education institution may offer health insurance. Some universities require international students to enroll in an insurance plan, while others give you a choice. Most visa holders are not subject to the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act and will not have to pay a fine if they do not have health insurance.

Most visa holders are not subject to the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act and will not have to pay a fine if they do not have health insurance.

Find the best qualified health plan for you today by comparing free quotes using the toolbox above!

Am I eligible for premium tax credits as a visa holder?

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Visa holders are eligible for cost reductions on the Marketplace if they meet the income requirements. If your income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, you might be eligible for tax credits which can lower your monthly premium payments.

You can choose to use these credits in advance or you can wait until you file your federal tax return. If you use more credits than you qualify for, you will have to pay that difference back.

Are visa holders able to enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program?

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Not all visa holders are able to enroll in programs such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, even if they meet the income eligibility requirements. Green card holders may be able to enroll in these programs after a five-year waiting period.

Refugees, asylees, and those who are in the United States on a victim of trafficking visa may not have to wait five years.

Additionally, some states chose to remove the five-year waiting period for children and pregnant women who wish to enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. You can check online or with our specialists to find out if your state participates in this program.

Medicaid pays for emergency care for immigrants who do not have health insurance or an eligible immigration status as long as they meet the other requirements including state residency and income.

If you are a low-income immigrant, enrolling in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program will not make you a public charge or affect your ability to become a green card holder or United States citizen.

Do I need to submit documentation when I apply for a health insurance plan?

When you apply for a plan through the Marketplace or an insurance company, they will ask for your social security number or your alien registration number. Depending on your immigrant status, you may have to submit additional documentation.

Illegal immigrants are not able to purchase health insurance on the Marketplace or through a private company. If you overstay your visa, you will no longer be eligible for health insurance. If you do not have a legal immigrant status, you are still able to apply for health insurance for your legal dependents.

Medical Insurance for a Visa Holder

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Most visa holders are eligible to purchase medical insurance from the Marketplace or a private insurance company. You have to provide your alien registration number and other documentation when you submit your application. If your income meets the requirements, you may be eligible for premium tax credits.

Even if your income meets the eligibility requirements, there is a five-year waiting period for green card holders and certain visa holders to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP.

Explore your health insurance options by comparing free quotes with your zip code on our site!

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