Trump plan to require health insurance for visa holders targets low-income families
Earlier this month, the Trump administration issued a proclamation that immigrants applying for visas to enter the United States will be required to obtain an approved type of health insurance coverage within 30 days or prove that they are able to pay for their medical costs. This proclamation will make it more difficult for lower-income immigrants and family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for visas to enter the United States. It will also incentivize immigrants to purchase health coverage that does not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Under the proclamation, Medicaid and coverage obtained under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) using premium subsidies are not included as approved health coverage. This means that immigrants applying for visas to enter the U.S. must have employer-sponsored health coverage, be covered by a family member’s plan, or purchase health coverage entirely out of pocket. Approved health coverage does include short-term plans, which do not provide adequate health coverage or meet the requirements of the ACA.
Similar to the administration’s recent public charge rule (which is currently blocked from taking effect), this proclamation departs from current and longstanding U.S. policy and is another step to make it increasingly difficult for documented immigrants to move along the path to citizenship in the United States.