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allyrose

Immigrant Health Insurance?

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6 minutes ago, allyrose said:

Hi! My fiance is arriving in the US on Saturday, and is looking into the best health insurance options for him. Does anyone have info or suggestions on this? Thanks! 

That will entirely depend on your current situation. The options available to you are as follows:

 

  • Marry and add your spouse to your own health insurance if you have a private policy or through your employer.
  • Marry and sign your spouse up for O'care - use the federal exchange (or state if you have one). You'll most likely need to wait until you file for AOS (with an NOA1) at the earliest, or at least until your EAD, or at the latest - the green card.
  • Buy any health insurance offered by providers in your state, privately. Many of these same plans can be found on the exchange, so shop around.
  • Wait and do nothing until your spouse has the funds or finds an employer that offers insurance once they are work authorized. Determine if not having health insurance is worth the risk vs cost. It's expensive for one, and none of the options above will be cheap. By law everyone is required to have health insurance or pay a penalty in taxes. It's $600+ and is set to increase each year. Despite this, paying the penalty will always be cheaper than the price of a monthly premium. The question becomes what happens in the event of illness or accident, and if you can really afford to go without. There are gaps and exemptions that can be taken advantage of in certain situations. But the rule applies to everyone whether they be immigrant or citizen.
  • Temporary insurances, short term insurances, travel insurances, and insurances marketed directly toward immigrants are not federally compliant and considered subpar. Therefore this will not exempt you from paying the penalty.
  • Absolutely try and obtain an SSN for your fiancé as soon as possible. You can do that even before you marry. It is not required for insurance, but you'll find things will be a lot less hassle in dealing with people who don't understand that fact if you have one.

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Just now, yuna628 said:

That will entirely depend on your current situation. The options available to you are as follows:

 

  • Marry and add your spouse to your own health insurance if you have a private policy or through your employer.
  • Marry and sign your spouse up for O'care - use the federal exchange (or state if you have one). You'll most likely need to wait until you file for AOS (with an NOA1) at the earliest, or at least until your EAD, or at the latest - the green card.
  • Buy any health insurance offered by providers in your state, privately. Many of these same plans can be found on the exchange, so shop around.
  • Wait and do nothing until your spouse has the funds or finds an employer that offers insurance once they are work authorized. Determine if not having health insurance is worth the risk vs cost. It's expensive for one, and none of the options above will be cheap. By law everyone is required to have health insurance or pay a penalty in taxes. It's $600+ and is set to increase each year. Despite this, paying the penalty will always be cheaper than the price of a monthly premium. The question becomes what happens in the event of illness or accident, and if you can really afford to go without. There are gaps and exemptions that can be taken advantage of in certain situations. But the rule applies to everyone whether they be immigrant or citizen.
  • Temporary insurances, short term insurances, travel insurances, and insurances marketed directly toward immigrants are not federally compliant and considered subpar. Therefore this will not exempt you from paying the penalty.
  • Absolutely try and obtain an SSN for your fiancé as soon as possible. You can do that even before you marry. It is not required for insurance, but you'll find things will be a lot less hassle in dealing with people who don't understand that fact if you have one.

How soon can he apply for SSN? He tried to sign up for Obamacare but he said he needs a SSN. 

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Just now, allyrose said:

How soon can he apply for SSN? He tried to sign up for Obamacare but he said he needs a SSN. 

He cannot sign up for O'care if he is neither married to you, has no legal status (a K1 will not give him legal status to do so), and yes while an SSN is actually not required (I'm serious), the website/phone people often ignore their own rules and makes things frustrating if you haven't got one. So to sign up for O'care, he's going to need to be able to prove he's married to you and has legal status (or has filed for it).

 

You can obtain an SSN, within days of him entering the country. As soon as he gets his bags unpacked, check his I94 online and see if he's in the database properly. If he is, I'd wait a day or so, follow the guides on obtaining an SSN, fill out the form and head to the SSA. They'll check out the stuff and issue him one. Sometimes there are problems and the person won't know how to handle a K1 case. Make sure you follow the guide exactly (print out their own instructions), and request a supervisor if they seem hesitant or confused. If he shouldn't be in the I94 database or they screw something up, then you'll need to correct that information with the CBP before proceeding. In the old days, it was advised to wait two weeks before going to the SSA. Now that the I94 is electronic and online there is no longer a need to wait.  http://www.visajourney.com/content/ssn

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6 minutes ago, yuna628 said:

He cannot sign up for O'care if he is neither married to you, has no legal status (a K1 will not give him legal status to do so), and yes while an SSN is actually not required (I'm serious), the website/phone people often ignore their own rules and makes things frustrating if you haven't got one. So to sign up for O'care, he's going to need to be able to prove he's married to you and has legal status (or has filed for it).

 

You can obtain an SSN, within days of him entering the country. As soon as he gets his bags unpacked, check his I94 online and see if he's in the database properly. If he is, I'd wait a day or so, follow the guides on obtaining an SSN, fill out the form and head to the SSA. They'll check out the stuff and issue him one. Sometimes there are problems and the person won't know how to handle a K1 case. Make sure you follow the guide exactly (print out their own instructions), and request a supervisor if they seem hesitant or confused. If he shouldn't be in the I94 database or they screw something up, then you'll need to correct that information with the CBP before proceeding. In the old days, it was advised to wait two weeks before going to the SSA. Now that the I94 is electronic and online there is no longer a need to wait.  http://www.visajourney.com/content/ssn

Thanks. How do we check the I94 database? Also, can we do all this while also applying for EAD and AOS? We just don't know where to start. 

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7 minutes ago, allyrose said:

Thanks. How do we check the I94 database? Also, can we do all this while also applying for EAD and AOS? We just don't know where to start. 

https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/

 

How you want to do stuff is in order of preference.

We got  our marriage license first, his SSN secondly (which arrived a week later), got married, and filed for AOS (with EAD/AP). While this was processing I obtained a joint spousal plan privately through my insurer. They didn't ask for much, only proof of marriage. They may ask for an SSN, you don't have to provide it if you don't want to, but of course they may or may not understand this and providing it will cause less fuss. I would say if you're buying a private plan you can obtain it as soon as you can. If the plan is just for himself and not jointly, then I should think proof of marriage wouldn't even be required. But going through the federal government is going to be a little different in making sure you can meet the required evidence of proof. See the link in my signature for immigration requirements. Remember that the EAD can take up to 90 days to arrive after filing.

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2 hours ago, yuna628 said:

That will entirely depend on your current situation. The options available to you are as follows:

 

  • Marry and add your spouse to your own health insurance if you have a private policy or through your employer.
  • Marry and sign your spouse up for O'care - use the federal exchange (or state if you have one). You'll most likely need to wait until you file for AOS (with an NOA1) at the earliest, or at least until your EAD, or at the latest - the green card.
  • Buy any health insurance offered by providers in your state, privately. Many of these same plans can be found on the exchange, so shop around.
  • Wait and do nothing until your spouse has the funds or finds an employer that offers insurance once they are work authorized. Determine if not having health insurance is worth the risk vs cost. It's expensive for one, and none of the options above will be cheap. By law everyone is required to have health insurance or pay a penalty in taxes. It's $600+ and is set to increase each year. Despite this, paying the penalty will always be cheaper than the price of a monthly premium. The question becomes what happens in the event of illness or accident, and if you can really afford to go without. There are gaps and exemptions that can be taken advantage of in certain situations. But the rule applies to everyone whether they be immigrant or citizen.
  • Temporary insurances, short term insurances, travel insurances, and insurances marketed directly toward immigrants are not federally compliant and considered subpar. Therefore this will not exempt you from paying the penalty.
  • Absolutely try and obtain an SSN for your fiancé as soon as possible. You can do that even before you marry. It is not required for insurance, but you'll find things will be a lot less hassle in dealing with people who don't understand that fact if you have one.

This is a really nice and helpful summary. :)

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13 hours ago, yuna628 said:

That will entirely depend on your current situation. The options available to you are as follows:

 

  • Marry and add your spouse to your own health insurance if you have a private policy or through your employer.
  • Marry and sign your spouse up for O'care - use the federal exchange (or state if you have one). You'll most likely need to wait until you file for AOS (with an NOA1) at the earliest, or at least until your EAD, or at the latest - the green card.
  • Buy any health insurance offered by providers in your state, privately. Many of these same plans can be found on the exchange, so shop around.
  • Wait and do nothing until your spouse has the funds or finds an employer that offers insurance once they are work authorized. Determine if not having health insurance is worth the risk vs cost. It's expensive for one, and none of the options above will be cheap. By law everyone is required to have health insurance or pay a penalty in taxes. It's $600+ and is set to increase each year. Despite this, paying the penalty will always be cheaper than the price of a monthly premium. The question becomes what happens in the event of illness or accident, and if you can really afford to go without. There are gaps and exemptions that can be taken advantage of in certain situations. But the rule applies to everyone whether they be immigrant or citizen.
  • Temporary insurances, short term insurances, travel insurances, and insurances marketed directly toward immigrants are not federally compliant and considered subpar. Therefore this will not exempt you from paying the penalty.
  • Absolutely try and obtain an SSN for your fiancé as soon as possible. You can do that even before you marry. It is not required for insurance, but you'll find things will be a lot less hassle in dealing with people who don't understand that fact if you have one.

Thanks for the summary!

 

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While a private insurer may not require you to have a social to be covered, the way they track who has coverage and for what period is by providing us with a 1095-B tax document. If you dont have a SSN or ITIN, no 1095-B, and even though you do have coverage you will still have to pay the fine without a 1095-B. Im going through this as we speak with my minor dependent opting to wait for his greencard as opposed to file for an EAD for him.  Once it became a tax related issue, it changed the game. Im lucky that coverage for my family through my employer is free, so a onetime fine isnt going to hurt, but I regret not applying for the EAD.  

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24 minutes ago, Chardon Ne' said:

While a private insurer may not require you to have a social to be covered, the way they track who has coverage and for what period is by providing us with a 1095-B tax document. If you dont have a SSN or ITIN, no 1095-B, and even though you do have coverage you will still have to pay the fine without a 1095-B. Im going through this as we speak with my minor dependent opting to wait for his greencard as opposed to file for an EAD for him.  Once it became a tax related issue, it changed the game. Im lucky that coverage for my family through my employer is free, so a onetime fine isnt going to hurt, but I regret not applying for the EAD.  

Hi. So what you are saying is we shouldn't get a SSN or we should? We are of course filing for the EAD and AOS as soon as we get married.

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35 minutes ago, Chardon Ne' said:

While a private insurer may not require you to have a social to be covered, the way they track who has coverage and for what period is by providing us with a 1095-B tax document. If you dont have a SSN or ITIN, no 1095-B, and even though you do have coverage you will still have to pay the fine without a 1095-B. Im going through this as we speak with my minor dependent opting to wait for his greencard as opposed to file for an EAD for him.  Once it became a tax related issue, it changed the game. Im lucky that coverage for my family through my employer is free, so a onetime fine isnt going to hurt, but I regret not applying for the EAD.  

I didn't know this either... about the 1095-B..there sure is a tax form for everything :lol:

Thank you Char :)

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22 minutes ago, allyrose said:

Hi. So what you are saying is we shouldn't get a SSN or we should? We are of course filing for the EAD and AOS as soon as we get married.

You should get one as soon as you can. I was just responding to NikLR in regards to a social not being required for health benefits. With a K-1 visa, you can also obtain a state ID but it will only be valid for the 90 days. Once you receive a social although you are not able to work, it is your SSN for life. Just makes things easier. 

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I recently went through the process of trying to find health insurance for my fiance until we get married and I can add him to my insurance. My work will not add him to my insurance, regardless of our marriage status, until he has a SSN. I do not know if that is common, but because of that I would advise submitting the application for the SSN 10-14 business days after arrival in the US. If you try to apply for a SSN sooner, manual verification aka form G-845 may be required which adds a lot of processing time. Despite many people stating that that this is all instant/immediate now, it still took 11 business days for us to be told at the SSA that my fiance would not require manual verification.

 

Your fiance is indeed eligible for healthcare through the government (I-94 is proof of status), just not tax credits and such. The deadlines and sign up process for the government-run plans vary state by state, though. We did not opt for a government-run plan because it wouldn't be active by the time my fiance arrived to the US. Do NOT buy travel insurance as this is not intended for immigrants. You will need to call private insurance companies to find one that will insure someone without a SSN/ITIN. I called around 7, and only one (Regence) was willing to insure my fiance. Blue Cross and United would not, the rest I called were all regional companies. 3 weeks later my fiance's health insurance application is STILL pending, due to the influx of applications insurance companies are getting right now as it happens to be open-enrollment. I suggest calling around and then having him apply for health insurance as soon as you can because of this, as you cannot legally apply on his behalf.

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