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Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Old Jan 7th 2014, 11:57 am
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Default Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Hi All,

My wife and I are part-way through our application for her spouse visa for us to both move to the US (I am a USC living in UK).

We have recently discovered she is pregnant ... wonderful news! But this throws up quite a few questions for us.

When we arrive in the US I will be searching for a new job (we have savings which we'll live off for a while). Any insurance with a new job may take a few months to kick in and we're therefore looking at our options through Healthcare.gov ... does anyone know if there are restrictions on claiming any medicare whilst on a Green Card?

Thanks in advance and Happy New Year everyone!
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 12:01 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Green Card Visa - claiming Medicare?

Medicare based on pregnancy can be claimed by a Green Card holder - that won't cover the father though.
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Green Card Visa - claiming Medicare?

Not ideal I'm sure but you, as the USC, can move back anytime. Is it worth job-hunting now and maybe travelling ahead so that you can obtain medical insurance ahead of your wife's arrival in the US?
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 2:05 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Green Card Visa - claiming Medicare?

thank you. Yes - we are considering the option of me traveling ahead of her.

Do any of you know if the fact that we have a joint sponsor of the Affidavit of Support would affect her eligibility for Medicare?

i.e. if she cannot afford the health insurance is it up to the joint sponsor to help financially or is it OK to claim Medicare?

Thank you!
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 2:11 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Green Card Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by Bear-F View Post
Do any of you know if the fact that we have a joint sponsor of the Affidavit of Support would affect her eligibility for Medicare?
No, it has no effect.

i.e. if she cannot afford the health insurance is it up to the joint sponsor to help financially or is it OK to claim Medicare?
The sponsor and/or joint sponsor are not liable to pay any medical bills or health insurance premiums. They are only liable to repay the US government if any means-tested government benefits are used. I don't believe Medicare is a means-tested benefit.

However, I don't know if a new US PR is eligible for Medicare immediately. You'll have to look into that.

Rene
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Green Card Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by Bear-F View Post
thank you. Yes - we are considering the option of me traveling ahead of her.

Do any of you know if the fact that we have a joint sponsor of the Affidavit of Support would affect her eligibility for Medicare?

i.e. if she cannot afford the health insurance is it up to the joint sponsor to help financially or is it OK to claim Medicare?

Thank you!
Medicare is for the elderly and I don't think she is 65 or over and having a baby.

However you are both eligible for the "Affordable Care Act" (ACA) where the cost is based on income. Part of ACA includes Medicaid (almost half the states opted out of Medicaid Expansion) where I believe she is eligible if your income is below 133% of the poverty level (if the state is enrolled) or 134%-400% of the poverty level where the government provides subsidies (all states). Check the following web site for information.

https://www.healthcare.gov/
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Medicare is not relevant - it is only available to people over the age of 65 (or who are disabled) and who have at least 10 years of contributions.

What the OP needs is health care insurance.
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Thank you, Michael and MD. I was beginning to think I didn't understand what Medicare was. Perhaps the poster is thinking of Medicaid which requires one to be without or have little financial funds.
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Thank you, Michael and MD. I was beginning to think I didn't understand what Medicare was. Perhaps the poster is thinking of Medicaid which requires one to be without or have little financial funds.
So it is not just me that says Medicaid but means Medicare. And the other way around.

You can certainly buy through the exchange with whatever tax credit you can get, you can not as the person sponsored get Medicaid. The USC could if eligible.
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Thank you, Michael and MD. I was beginning to think I didn't understand what Medicare was. Perhaps the poster is thinking of Medicaid which requires one to be without or have little financial funds.
And remember that post-ACA, in cooperating states Medicaid now covers anyone up to 133% of the federal poverty level. So the OP's eligibility may depend on what state they end up resident in.
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Green Card Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by Bear-F View Post
thank you. Yes - we are considering the option of me traveling ahead of her.

Do any of you know if the fact that we have a joint sponsor of the Affidavit of Support would affect her eligibility for Medicare?

i.e. if she cannot afford the health insurance is it up to the joint sponsor to help financially or is it OK to claim Medicare?

Thank you!
Medicare is for over 65's - not relevant to you or your wife by the sounds of it.

You will have to apply for medical insurance plans on the Exchange relevant to your state or on Healthcare.gov
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
So it is not just me that says Medicaid but means Medicare. And the other way around.
No it's not just you - most people don't have a clue about Medicaid vs Medicare unless they have actually had to deal with eligibility for one or other.

To make matters even more confusing, while Medicaid programs are jointly funded by the federal and state governments, they are administered by each individual state which means that the precise eligibility criteria can vary depending on where you live.

... and some states give fancy names to their Medicaid programs - so, for example, if you live in California it is actually called "Medi-Cal" ...
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
you can not as the person sponsored get Medicaid. The USC could if eligible.
Actually, there is Emergency Medicaid which as long as you meet income requirements is available for all ..even the undocumented. It is technically used for life threatening emergencies, but can and is used (a lot) in maternity units all over the US.
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by DebzinUS View Post
Actually, there is Emergency Medicaid which as long as you meet income requirements is available for all ..even the undocumented. It is technically used for life threatening emergencies, but can and is used (a lot) in maternity units all over the US.
Ohh yes, not the full deal but I have come across many threads about it.
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Old Jan 7th 2014, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Healthcare and Immigrant Visa - claiming Medicare?

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Ohh yes, not the full deal but I have come across many threads about it.
Yes, Emergency Medicaid isn't brilliant, but better than nothing However, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) included a new option for States to provide Medicaid and CHIP coverage to children and pregnant women who are lawfully residing in the United States, including those within their first five years of having certain legal status. At last count I think there were 21 States and DC participating. So OP has nearly 50/50 chance of having Medicaid coverage if meeting income and asset requirements.
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