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MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

Old May 12th 2011, 1:14 am
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Default MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

My wife (USC) and I (UKC) just arrived in the Boston area a couple of weeks ago. We are on the hunt for jobs and my wife is pretty close to landing one, which will hopefully provide some health insurance for us both until I get a job offer. In the interim, we realise that health insurance is mandatory in MA, and as we are both unemployed at the moment we need to register for the public programme MassHealth in the interim.

Does anyone have any experience with MassHealth? My concern is that enrolling would be a violation of my immigrant visa as I'm not allowed to accept any public funds or benefits. And yet, it's mandatory!

MassHealth does offer non-citizens the option to enroll in a limited coverage plan (emergencies only, etc) without providing a social security number or proof of immigration status. They have said they will not match the non-USC's name with any other agency including the Department of Homeland Security. I suppose this is our best option, but thought it was worth a shout to see if anyone else has had experience with the process before...
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Old May 12th 2011, 4:08 am
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Default Re: MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

You've got to be a MA resident for 12 months to qualify...it's means tested, which means they could potentially go for the money off the sponsor, but I don't think they will.

The wife could go for it as a USC though, after 12 months.
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Old May 12th 2011, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

Welcome to MA!
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Old May 14th 2011, 12:14 am
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Default Re: MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

Here is the MA connector website. You can get insured for around $300 a month, maybe less if you are young. You should also see if you qualify for Commonwealth Care which will subsidize your premiums, although I think they removed that benefit for immigrants with less the 5 years residency. You should check that out anyway. But $300 a month for a few months until you get a health plan through work isn't too bad.

https://www.mahealthconnector.org/po...iShown=default


Here is the MassHealth info, and a few phone calls will get you a lot of answers. I've found MA to be good at answering questions like this and they are generally very helpful.

http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eohhs2su...ew&sid=Eeohhs2
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Old May 14th 2011, 11:17 am
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Default Re: MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

Originally Posted by USAalltheway View Post
My wife (USC) and I (UKC) just arrived in the Boston area a couple of weeks ago. We are on the hunt for jobs and my wife is pretty close to landing one, which will hopefully provide some health insurance for us both until I get a job offer. In the interim, we realise that health insurance is mandatory in MA, and as we are both unemployed at the moment we need to register for the public programme MassHealth in the interim.

Does anyone have any experience with MassHealth? My concern is that enrolling would be a violation of my immigrant visa as I'm not allowed to accept any public funds or benefits. And yet, it's mandatory!

MassHealth does offer non-citizens the option to enroll in a limited coverage plan (emergencies only, etc) without providing a social security number or proof of immigration status. They have said they will not match the non-USC's name with any other agency including the Department of Homeland Security. I suppose this is our best option, but thought it was worth a shout to see if anyone else has had experience with the process before...
I was under the impression that the subsidised plans are for citizens only?
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Old May 14th 2011, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

Originally Posted by gradboy View Post
I was under the impression that the subsidised plans are for citizens only?
No, resident non-citizens who meet certain conditions also qualify. IMHO if you are a MA tax payer you should qualify whatever your immigration status. Anyway the OP's wife is a citizen so she can apply for a family plan.

Last edited by nun; May 14th 2011 at 12:48 pm.
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Old May 14th 2011, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

Originally Posted by nun View Post
Here is the MA connector website. You can get insured for around $300 a month, maybe less if you are young. You should also see if you qualify for Commonwealth Care which will subsidize your premiums, although I think they removed that benefit for immigrants with less the 5 years residency. You should check that out anyway. But $300 a month for a few months until you get a health plan through work isn't too bad.

https://www.mahealthconnector.org/po...iShown=default


Here is the MassHealth info, and a few phone calls will get you a lot of answers. I've found MA to be good at answering questions like this and they are generally very helpful.

http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eohhs2su...ew&sid=Eeohhs2
That's cool...when did they get rid of the 12 month resident of the state requirement?

They had that in place to stop people moving here to claim cheap insurance.
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Old May 14th 2011, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: MassHealth - is joining a violation of my immigrant visa?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
That's cool...when did they get rid of the 12 month resident of the state requirement?

They had that in place to stop people moving here to claim cheap insurance.
I don't know about the one year residency requirement, it might well be the case, but it can't hurt to ask. Worst case is paying $300 a month for a bronze plan.
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