Can non-citizens get Obamacare?
Options for lawfully present immigrants
Lawfully present immigrants, U.S. citizens, and “qualified non-citizens” in the United States are eligible to shop for Obamacare health plans from the Health Insurance Marketplace. This includes green card holders, lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, those on valid non-immigrant visas, and folks who have had legal status conferred to them through various laws. You can learn more about the immigration statuses that are granted the ability to apply for Marketplace coverage here, and grab our free step-by-step guide to enrolling in Marketplace health insurance here.
You can compare prices and shop for an Affordable Care Act Marketplace plan here. Open Enrollment Period is from November 1 to January 15. During that time, you can enroll in a new insurance plan without a special enrollment qualifying event. Put in your zip code below to see available plans in your area.
If you’d like help learning about your options and enrolling over the phone, give a HealthSherpa Consumer Advocate a call at (872) 228-2549.
Options for undocumented immigrants
Undocumented immigrants, however, are unable to shop the Marketplace for health coverage or apply for Medicaid and CHIP. (An important exception is California, where undocumented immigrants under the age of 19 can enroll in Medi-Cal. Starting in January 2020, undocumented young adults 26 and under are also eligible.)
Learn more in our FAQ describing healthcare options for undocumented people. For undocumented people, health care can be accessed without insurance coverage at a community health center. Federal law dictates that hospitals must provide emergency care to everyone, regardless of immigration status.
Emergency care typically just serves to stabilize a patient. It does not offer any long-term care to manage any chronic or ongoing health issues. Some public, safety-net clinics do make basic health services available to people regardless of insurance or immigration status. Unfortunately, there are not many clinics like this. Uninsured immigrants who are unable to shop the Marketplace, apply for Medicaid, and do not have employer-sponsored coverage may also receive reproductive health care, some cancer screenings, and some basic primary care through through Title X. Title X is the network of clinics that exist to serve the federal family planning program.
Planned Parenthood health centers also provide reproductive health care and some basic primary care. As a policy, Planned Parenthood serves all patients, regardless of immigration status. They also serve those who are uninsured. Patients pay according to a sliding-scale based on need.