Can You Get Health Insurance if You’re Not a U.S. Citizen?

Getting sick or injured is never a fun experience and getting sick or injured while in a country that is not your own is an even more stressful situation. If you have been thinking about immigrating to or visiting the United States for an extended period, the question of whether or not you will be able to purchase health care coverage may have crossed your mind. It is only natural that you would want to make sure that you can receive the care you need if something happens while you are away from home. The short answer is yes, but that does not mean that every insurance avenue will be open to you. Depending on your immigration status, the state that you live in, and a few other factors, the type of health insurance that you can purchase will most likely be limited.

Government-provided health insurance is one of the more limited types of health insurance for non-citizens.  To qualify for health insurance purchased through the government and the Health Insurance Marketplace, you must either be a U.S Citizen, national, or an immigrant who is “lawfully present.”  The government has a very specific set of criteria for who they determine to be a lawful immigrant, which you can find in more detail on their website. If you do not fall into one of these three categories, you will not be able to purchase insurance through a government program. Instead, you will have to find other means of health insurance.

If you do not qualify for coverage through a government program, or if you want to explore other health insurance options,  you would have to take a look at purchasing insurance through a private carrier. Private insurance carriers have the ability to choose for themselves who they would like to insure. However, it can still be tricky to wade through the Health Insurance jungle and find even a private carrier who will write insurance carrier for a non-citizen.

The good news is that there are insurance companies out there that either specialize in insurance for non-citizens or have special programs specifically for non-citizens.  By purchasing coverage designed for a non-citizen, you can rest assured knowing that you are receiving coverage that a company has tailored to your unique needs. While not every type of health insurance available in the United States is available to citizens and non-citizens alike, there are options to make sure that you have insurance even if you are not a citizen. If you have questions about where to obtain coverage as a non-citizen talk to a health insurance professional today.