Studies show the average cost of a doctor’s office visit can cost between $100 to $600 for uninsured patients. The expense depends on the extent of your injuries or illness, the treatment needed, and the type of practice. As an immigrant, you are afforded the same protection as a U.S. citizen. There are specific programs that the government offers to those who qualify.
The healthcare system is a combination of public and private programs suitable for various Americans and immigrants. Carrying insurance provides you and your family access to proper medical care at an affordable price. If you’re unsure whether you or your loved ones qualify, a family immigration lawyer serves as a great resource as you search for a primary doctor!
If you’re living in the U.S. on a temporary visa or haven’t established roots here yet, you might be wondering why having health as an immigrant is so valuable. We outline a few reasons below for your consideration.
- Health insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company, ensuring that they will pay a portion of your medical expenses when you visit a doctor.
- Most emergencies are not preventative. Health insurance also covers pricey emergency room visits as they would medications and annual checkups.
- The Affordable Care Act requires U.S. citizens and lawfully permanent immigrants to have insurance (minimum). Insurance is not always obtainable, so there are no penalties.
- In the end, insurance guarantees the safety and well-being of your family’s health.
If you are employed, your job might offer you an insurance plan. It is entirely optional! If the plan is expensive or doesn’t cover everything you and your family might need, you can shop around for another. The U.S. has a range of public programs or private insurance plans to select through the Health Insurance Marketplace, a service provided by the federal government.
To qualify as a “lawfully present” immigrant, that means you have the following:
- Non-citizen immigration status: refugee, asylee, green card holder
- Any legal or temporary resident status
- A valid, non-expired non-immigrant visa
- Humanitarian status
Ineligible immigrants might still qualify for emergency service coverage under Medicaid, depending on where they’re residing. If you have further questions about insurance, our immigration law firm in Los Angeles is more than happy to take your call!