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Hi all,

 

My wife immigrated from Canada to Boston last fall on the K1 visa and we got married a couple weeks later. No issues on that front. :) I was unemployed at the time, and have since managed only a temporary job without benefits. My dad is co-sponsoring her, and I'm on my stepmother's insurance plan until I turn 26 next month.

 

My wife applied for insurance through the Massachusetts HealthConnector. She was deemed ineligible for MassHealth (Medicaid), but eligible for ConnectorCare, which has basically zero costs and is for people with very low to no income. It's through a private insurance company (BMC) but offered through Massachusetts' public marketplace.

 

Is she allowed to use this insurance since it's not Medicaid? Or would it be violating the I-864? I assume she was denied MassHealth because she's not a permanent resident yet, but wouldn't she have been denied ConnectorCare as well? She told the HealthConnector agent her immigration situation and was told people in similar situations do the same thing.

 

If she can't use the insurance, and I don't have my own insurance to add her to, is there another option to ensure she's covered?

 

Thanks!

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My understanding is that receiving this (publicly assisted) health insurance is not weighed in an officer's decision as to whether or not she is likely to become a public charge. Indeed, she will be subject to the alternative penalty at some point if she is not covered - and, if you can't afford the marketplace premium, paying that alternative penalty (not technically a violation of the law) may be cheaper than health insurance - but that is just my opinion, not a legal one.

 

I found that info elsewhere on an immigration site .... "Zhang" something or other.

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10 hours ago, Greg.D. said:

My understanding is that receiving this (publicly assisted) health insurance is not weighed in an officer's decision as to whether or not she is likely to become a public charge. Indeed, she will be subject to the alternative penalty at some point if she is not covered - and, if you can't afford the marketplace premium, paying that alternative penalty (not technically a violation of the law) may be cheaper than health insurance - but that is just my opinion, not a legal one.

 

I found that info elsewhere on an immigration site .... "Zhang" something or other.

Thanks for your help! I think I remember reading that too. Thing is, her health plan has no premiums, deductibles, or copays, so it functions sort of like medicaid, but she can only see doctors in her insurance network instead of going virtually anywhere as with medicaid. I'm more worried about having to repay these benefits (because they might be "means-tested") than about being considered a public charge. 

 

Moreover, I thought I recall reading somewhere (though I can't remember where) that the I-864 applied only once the AOS is accepted and she's a permanent resident but not necessarily before? I'm just wondering if anyone has insight on this, can confirm, refute, etc.

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