Obamacare Immigrant Loophole Explained
Recently the Associated pressed published an article on an unexpected loophole in
Obamacare. This loophole was a direct result of last years Supreme Court ruling, and
is now providing a large challenge for Republican Governors and states that are
choosing not to take part in the Medicaid Expansion provision of Obamacare.
Through an unplanned combination of the Supreme Courts ruling on Medicaid
Expansion, and assumptions made by Obamacare on subsidies, legal immigrants will
be eligible for government subsidies to purchase private insurance, while state
residents in states that have chosen to turn down the Medicaid Expansion provision
won’t. How is this possible? The explanation is a bit complex but I will attempt to
outline it as best as possible
1) The individual mandate portion of Obamacare will Start January 1, 2014.
This individual mandate requires everyone to have health insurance. If your
employer does not provide health insurance you will now be able to
purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Exchange. There
will be subsidies for middle-income individuals, and low income Individuals
will be steered towards Medicaid.
i. If you make $11, 170 as a single person, $23,050 for a family of
four— You will not get a subsidy for private coverage in the
exchanges. Medicaid is your only option.
2) When Obamacare was written and passed in 2010, it assumed every state
would expand Medicaid coverage. Therefore those who could not get a
subsidy would get Medicaid which will be covered by the government for at
least 95% for several years after 2014
3) Prior to the Affordable Health Care Act the waiting period for legal
immigrants to get Medicaid was five years. However a compromise was
reached that allowed low-income legal immigrants that have been in the U.S.
for five or more years to get subsidies for private coverage within the Health
Insurance Exchanges that will be established by January 2014
4) When the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare was constitutional it also said
that each states had the choice of accepting or rejecting the Medicaid
expansion provision. However, the court did not go deeper and touch the
issue of coverage for legal immigrants in the health insurance exchanges. The
legal immigrant portion of the law remained untouched.
5) The result of this means even though a legal immigrant might not be eligible
for Medicaid in their state, they will still get a subsidy to purchase private
insurance in the health insurance exchange if they are in the middle-income
class bracket. States that rejected the Medicaid Expansion provision of the
Affordable Care Act, their poor residents that were previously not eligible for
Medicaid based on the states standards will still not be eligible.
So in summary low income, and poor people U.S. Citizen within the majority of the
republican led states that have turned down the Medicaid Expansion provision of
Obamacare will not be eligible for a government subsidy to support their purchase
of Health Insurance, however if you are a legal immigrant that have been in the
United States for five years or more you will be eligible for a subsidy regardless of
what state you reside in.
This is a very large blow to many of the southern, and western states with large
immigrant populations that are led by republican governors that have shut down
any prospects of adhering to any portion of Obamacare. Here is list of states that
have chosen the Medicaid provision of the Affordable Care Act.
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