Who Can Buy Health Insurance in the Obamacare Marketplaces?

Who Can Buy Health Insurance in the Obamacare Marketplaces?
| Foto: ISTOCK

The Open Enrollment Period begins November 1st in most states. This is the time of the year in which insurance markets open so that millions of people can acquire health coverage for 2020, or change the medical plan they have.

It is a time of great empowerment for the consumer. Because it is up to each individual or family to choose well, compare prices, get information. This window of opportunity closes in large part of the states on December 15 (although in some it extends until January).

Health insurance markets (also known as exchange) were established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA, popularly known as Obamacare) with the idea of ​​dramatically expanding health care so that more people can access to medical services, preventive exams and medicines.

However, not all people living in the United States qualify to enroll in these markets. For example, undocumented individuals cannot acquire health coverage trough these platforms.

All citizens (born in the country or naturalized) qualify.

The list of those who can is more extensive. They are listed below. Keep in mind that, in addition to present proof of residency (where you live), you must present the documents related to your specific immigration status (see list below).

For example, if you have a permanent residence status, you must have your green card to show to the navigator that is helping you, or you will have to have it digitized if you use the online platform yourself.

Immigrants with the following statuses qualify to use the Marketplace:

  • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR/Green Card holder)

  • Asylee
  • Refugee
  • Cuban/Haitian Entrant
  • Paroled into the U.S.
  • Conditional Entrant Granted before 1980
  • Battered Spouse, Child and Parent
  • Victim of Trafficking and his/her Spouse, Child, Sibling or Parent
  • Granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under the Convention against Torture (CAT)
  • Individual with Non-immigrant Status, includes worker visas (such as H1, H-2A, H-2B), student visas, U-visa, T-visa, and other visas, and citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
  • Deferred Action Status (Exception: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is not an eligible immigration status for applying for health insurance)
  • Lawful Temporary Resident
  • Administrative order staying removal issued by the Department of Homeland Security
  • Member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe or American Indian Born in Canada
  • Resident of American Samoa

Applicants for any of these statuses qualify to use the Marketplace:

  • Temporary Protected Status with Employment Authorization

  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Victim of Trafficking Visa
  • Adjustment to LPR Status
  • Asylum (see note below)
  • Withholding of Deportation, or Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under the Convention against Torture (CAT) (see note below)
  • Applicants for asylum are eligible for Marketplace coverage only if they’ve been granted employment authorization or are under the age of 14 and have had an application pending for at least 180 days.

People with the following statuses and who have employment authorization qualify for the Marketplace:

  • Registry Applicants

  • Order of Supervision
  • Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation
  • Applicant for Legalization under Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
  • Legalization under the LIFE Act

Documents 

  • Permanent Resident Card, “Green Card,” (I-551), you’ll need your alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number) and card number (also called receipt number) from your document.

  • Permanent Resident Cards are issued to lawful permanent residents. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) or “Green Card” recipient is a person who isn’t a U.S. citizen, but who’s residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. If you’re a lawful permanent resident, you should use this document to show eligible immigration status, if possible. To verify your eligible immigration status, enter the alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number), which is listed under the heading “A#” or “USCIS#.” Also enter the I-551 card number, which is listed on either the front or back of the card and starts with 3 letters and ends with 10 numbers. To verify your status, the Marketplace will need both the alien number and the I-551 card number. If you have trouble finding these numbers, check on the back of the card. Some older cards may not list both numbers.
  • You can enter your I-551 card number without entering your Social Security Number (SSN) if you don’t have one yet, because it isn’t necessary to enter your SSN to get Marketplace coverage.
  • Reentry Permit (I-327), you’ll need your alien registration number (also called USCIS number) from your document.
  • Re-entry permits (or I-327s), when valid, allow permanent residents to leave and re-enter the U.S. These permits are located in multi-purpose booklets called “U.S. Travel Documents.” Enter the alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number), which starts with an “A” and ends with 8 or 9 numbers. This number is located at the top, right-hand side of the document.
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571), you’ll need your alien registration number (also called USCIS number) from your document.
  • Refugee Travel Documents (or I-571s) may be issued to refugees and asylees for travel purposes. These permits should be located in multi-purpose booklets called “U.S. Travel Documents.” Enter the alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number), which starts with an “A” and ends with 8 or 9 numbers. This number is located at the top, right-hand side of the document.
  • Employment Authorization Card (I-766), you’ll need your alien registration number (also called USCIS number), card number, expiration date, and category code from your document.
  • Employment Authorization Cards (or I-766s) are issued to some people who are authorized to work temporarily in the U.S. Enter the alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number), which starts with an “A” and ends with 8 or 9 numbers. Also enter the card expiration date, as listed on the card. If you have trouble finding these numbers, check on the back of the card. Some older cards may not list both numbers.
  • If you have an expired copy of your I-766, but you’ve renewed it, enter all of the document information you have, including information from the expired card.
  • Machine Readable Immigrant Visa (with temporary I-551 language), you’ll need your alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number), passport number, and country of issuance from your document.
  • Machine-readable immigrant visas (MRIVs) with temporary I-551 language are documents indicating permanent resident status. Enter the alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number), which may start with an “A” and end with 8 or 9 numbers. Some MRIVs may not have an “A” before the number. Also enter the passport number.
  • Temporary I-551 Stamp (on passport or I-94/I-94A), you’ll need your alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number) from your document.
  • Temporary I-551 stamps can be used to attest to permanent resident status. A temporary I-551 stamp will have a handwritten or stamped issue date and a “valid until” date. This stamp can be found on the front of an I-94 form or in the foreign passport. Enter the alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number), which starts with an “A” and ends with 8 or 9 numbers.
  • Arrival/Departure Record (I-94/I-94A), you’ll need your I-94 number from your document.
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Records are issued to foreign travelers when they enter the U.S. The bottom portion of the I-94 should be stapled to the passport. Enter the I-94 number, which is usually found at the top, left-hand side of the form. The I-94 paper form will no longer be provided upon arrival to the U.S. at most air and sea ports of entry, except in limited circumstances. If a person doesn’t have a paper version of the I-94, they can get a copy at cbp.gov/I94.
  • Arrival/Departure Record in foreign passport (I-94), you’ll need your I-94 number, passport number, expiration date, and country of issuance from your document.
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Records are issued to foreign travelers when they enter the U.S. The bottom portion of the I-94 should be stapled to the foreign passport. Enter the I-94 number, which is usually found at the top, left-hand side of the form. Also enter the passport number, expiration date, and country of issuance.
  • Foreign passport, you’ll need your passport number, expiration date, and country of issuance from your document.
  • Passports from foreign countries are used when entering the U.S. Enter the passport number, passport expiration date, and country of issuance. You may be able to get a copy of your I-94 information by visiting cbp.gov/I94 and entering your information.
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (I-20), you’ll need your SEVIS ID from your document.
  • I-20 Certificates of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status are the documents that support applications for student visa statuses (F-1s or F-2s). Enter the SEVIS ID number, which is located at the top, right-hand side of the document.
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS2019), you’ll need your SEVIS ID from your document.
  • Certificates of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS-2019s) are the documents that support applications for exchange visitor visa statuses (J-1s or J-2s). Enter the SEVIS ID number, which is located at the top, right-hand side of the document.
  • Notice of Action (I-797), you’ll need your alien registration number (also called USCIS number) or your I-94 number from your document.
  • Notices of Action (I-797s) are communication from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service about immigration benefits. I-797s can be used for different purposes, like an approval notice, receipt notice, or a replacement for an I-94. Sometimes these notices have other documents attached to them, like I-360s (petitions for Amerasian, widow(er), or special immigrant statuses). If you’ve been issued a new immigration benefit or had the duration of your stay in the U.S. extended, you’ll be issued an I-797 with a tear-away I-94 at the bottom. You should enter your I-94 number.
  • Another type of document, select “Other.” You’ll need your alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number) or your I-94 number. You’ll also need to describe the type or name of your document.
  • If you said you have another document or status type (that isn’t on the list above), you’ll be asked to select which of these document types you have.
  • Document indicating a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or American Indian born in Canada: There are a several documents that can show you’re a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or that you’re an American Indian born in Canada, including membership cards, letters, or other tribal documents. For American Indians born in Canada, this could also include a birth certificate or other evidence of being born in Canada. You’ll need to upload your document later on in the application process.
  • Certification from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR): This is a certification letter from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement that’s issued to an individual who is a victim of a severe form of trafficking. These letters state victims are eligible for benefits and services.
  • Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) eligibility letter (if under 18): This is a letter from the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement and indicates a child is a victim of a severe form of trafficking. These letters state victims are eligible for benefits and services. You’ll need to upload your document later on in the application process.
  • Cuban/Haitian entrant: People who are “Cuban or Haitian entrants” must be Cuban or Haitian and may include one of these, for example:
  • Granted parole into the U.S.
  • Have an application for asylum pending with USCIS.
  • Granted special status under the immigration laws for nationals of Cuba or Haiti.
  • Are a subject of removal proceedings. If you’re Cuban or Haitian or you’re not sure, you can select this, and we can check our data sources.
  • Document indicating withholding of removal (or “withholding of deportation”): There are several documents that might show withholding of removal or deportation.
  • Resident of American Samoa: A document showing you’re a resident of, or live in, American Samoa. You’ll need to upload your document later on in the application process.
  • Administrative order staying removal issued by the Department of Homeland Security: A document from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showing you got an order staying removal or deportation. There are several documents that might show you have an administrative order staying removal issued by DHS.
  • Resident of American Samoa: A document showing you’re a resident of, or live in, American Samoa. You’ll need to upload your document later on in the application process.
  • Administrative order staying removal issued by the Department of Homeland Security: A document from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showing you got an order staying removal or deportation. There are several documents that might show you have an administrative order staying removal issued by DHS.
  • Other: If you don’t see your document or status type listed, describe or enter the name of another type of immigration document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or Customs and Border Protection. If you select “Other,” you’ll be asked to enter:
  • Description: Provide the name or describe the type of document you have.
  • Alien number or I-94 number: Enter either the alien number (also called alien registration number or USCIS number), which starts with an “A” and ends with 8 or 9 numbers, or the I-94 number, which is 11 digits, listed on the immigration document.

To verify your status using only an alien number or I-94 number, select “Other documents or status types” from the document-type drop-down. Then, check the “Other” box. A field will appear asking you to provide a description of the type of document you have that supports your status and to select whether you have an alien number or an I-94 number. Enter this number into the document number field that will appear. If you have immediate access to all of the document numbers that are listed on HealthCare.gov for your document type (for example, alien number and card number), select that document in the drop-down list and enter both numbers.

If you have more than one current immigration document, select one that contains an alien number (also called alien registration or USCIS number), if possible. See below for more detailed information on these document types.

If you have temporary protected status (TPS), you may have an automatic extension of your status, even if your document is expired.

If you need help finding information on your document, check on the back of the document. Some older documents may not list all numbers. If you need help completing this section, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596.

If you don’t think your immigration record correctly shows your status, you can still upload your documents and continue with your application. To get your record updated, you can make an InfoPass appointment with a USCIS representative or review your records, or you can submit a written request. For more information, visit uscis.gov/save and select “For Benefit Applications” then “How to Correct Your Records.” Or, you can call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

Remember: Information about immigration status will be used only to determine eligibility for coverage and not for immigration enforcement.

Sources: healthcare.gov, CMS, HHS, KFF

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