Disciples Immigration Legal Updates
October 10, 2013

New Health Care Law & Immigrants

The Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, allows some families to purchase health insurance through new online exchanges. Some families may also qualify for subsidies to help pay their premiums.


Some immigrants, including many who do not qualify for public benefits such as Medicare and Medicaid, can participate in the exchanges. Other immigrants cannot.


Who CANNOT buy health insurance through the exchanges or qualify for subsidies?

  • Undocumented immigrants
  • Individuals granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)


Who CAN buy health insurance through the exchanges and qualify for subsidies?

  • Naturalized U.S. Citizens
  • Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders)
  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • American Samoans (U.S. Nationals)
  • Individuals with TPS (temporary protected status)
  • Individuals on student visas
  • Individuals on temporary work visas
  • Individuals on visitor/tourist visas
  • Cuban/Haitian entrants
  • Individuals paroled into the U.S.
  • Victims of human trafficking (T visa)
  • Domestic violence survivors (VAWA)
  • Crime victims (U visa)
  • Individuals with certain pending immigration applications
  • Others   See the complete list. 

If you do not know your immigration status or need help determining if you can participate in the health care exchanges, please contact Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel. 

What if some family members qualify and others do not?  

Those who qualify can still apply. You can help a family member apply for health insurance through the exchanges without revealing your own immigration status.


For example, if you are undocumented and your children are U.S. citizens, you cannot apply for health insurance on the exchanges for yourself, but you can apply for your children. Leave any questions asking for your Social Security Number blank. Information you provide will only be used to determine which health insurance and subsidies are available for your children. It will not be given to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).



Will this program affect my green card application? 

No. If you want to apply for Lawful Permanent Residence (a green card) in the future, you will have to prove that you did not rely on public benefits and are not a "public charge." Buying health insurance through the exchanges or receiving a subsidy for your premiums will not make you a public charge or prevent you from becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident in the future.
Disciples are working for immigration reform.

Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel provides free legal consultations to Disciples facing immigration problems. Learn more.

Contact Us
Tana Liu-Beers
tana@dhm.disciples.org  317-289-1407
P.O. Box 51433
Durham, NC 27717