WHO IS `LAWFULLY PRESENT` UNDER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT?

February 22, 2015

Unless a person is here without permission, the Affordable Care Act requires you to maintain basic healthcare coverage, called minimum essential coverage. Except for people here without permission, non-citizens without minimum essential coverage may have to pay a fee for each month without coverage. Non-citizens will be subject to payment to IRS if they do not maintain “minimum essential healthcare coverage” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Some non-citizens may still be eligible to access health plans on the health exchange Marketplace.

Individuals who may qualify for health exchange/ Marketplace programs:
• 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, student visas, and citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau)
• Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
• Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
• Deferred Action Status (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

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

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

These lists refer to those who maintain “lawfully present” status, there may be some exceptions to the rule depending on the situation. An example may include those who file a late extension of status to stay in the US.

Though the law does provide the definition of “lawfully present”, it does not contemplate nor define “unlawful presence”. Thus, this reflects a preference for inclusion as opposed to exclusion. The ACA continues this process of inclusion and the future of combining immigration and healthcare can be a lasting and meaningful relationship that will go far in assuring the success of both.

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