Health insurance for lawful permanent residents (LPR) popularly referred to as “green card” holders are not much different from that obtained for regular US citizens. In fact, green card holders qualify the same public health benefits as citizens provided they meet eligibility criteria. Even for private insurance, special plans for immigrants and green card holders are often offered for lower premiums at comparable coverage.
Eligibility for Green Card Holders and Public Health Benefits
Green card holders enjoy the same benefits of other US citizens, but there are many types of green cards which may affect the kind of insurance needed. For unemployed green card holders, public health benefits may be sufficient provided they comply with eligibility requirements. The same applies to dependents of green card holders. Senior green card holders may have to garner a certain number of years of residency and employment to qualify for public health benefits. For full details, refer to published government help desks.
Proof That’s Needed
Most insurance companies do require proof of satisfactory immigration status to approve a green card holder policy application, however. The documents required are any of the following:
- I-181 Memorandum of Creation of Lawful Permanent Resident with approval stamp
- I-327 reentry permit
- I-551 Legal Permanent Resident Card “green card” (I-I51-older version)
- I-94 or passport stamped 1-551
Once status is established, there is a plethora of health insurance available. Employed green card holders are eligible for the same coverage of their co-workers regardless of citizenship status, and qualify for the same social security and retirement benefits as well.
For Small Business Owners who Hold Green Cards
For small business owners, private insurance for green card holders are also available in a variety of packages. Of course, the need for due consideration remain to control costs, so green card holders will have to consider the following to determine what kind of insurance they will need:
- Marital status
- Need for maternity benefits
- Size of family for dependent coverage
- Preexisting medical conditions
- Travel habits
Private or public health insurance for green card holders follows the same conditions as that for other US citizens. The best guarantee for adequate and cost-effective coverage is accurate information and comparison shopping.