Change to US immigration law requires health care coverage

The cost of health care in the United States can be quite steep. Even with insurance, many patients struggle to pay both monthly premiums and medical bills from seeing the doctor. Still, most people can receive excellent care across the country. A recent change to U.S. immigration law could make some of that care inaccessible by barring certain individuals from obtaining visas or even entering the country.

Within 30 days of arriving in the United States, immigrants will need to prove that they will be getting health insurance or that they have enough money to cover their own medical expenses. Those who support this change believe that it will cut down on how much U.S. citizens will have to pay in taxes and medical bills. However, there is not a uniform procedure for deciding whether a person can meet the requirement. This means that each individual consular officer in Louisiana can interpret the information differently.

Many immigrants who are in the country legally are able to get subsidies for health care through the Affordable Care Act. Immigrants might think that since they qualify for subsidies that they will meet the requirement for health care coverage. Unfortunately, the new rule states that subsidized insurance is not enough, and does not count.

There are many immigrants who will not have to comply with this rule, mainly those who already have valid visas, are permanent residents or children of U.S. citizens. Other immigrants in different situations or who are applying for visas will have to meet this requirement. Having to deal with another new rule in U.S. immigration law can be daunting, but those who wish to live or work in Louisiana often find that speaking with an experienced attorney can make the process less confusing.