Can Green Card Holders Include Their Parents In Their Health Insurance Plan?
This new provision will be mostly beneficial for immigrants when they bring parents on a green card, who otherwise don’t qualify to get health insurance. Green card holders in California can claim their parents as dependents on their health insurance plan as long as they have purchased their own healthcare coverage in the individual market. Health insurance provided by employers does not allow adult children to claim their parents. Additionally, Green card holders who have not met the 5-year waiting period to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid may also be eligible to include their parents on their health insurance coverage. One important criterion is that the green card holder should be paying taxes into the state before they can claim their parents.
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US Health Insurance So Far
Today, there are many ways that Californians can get health insurance coverage. Many subsidized plans offer various options to get medical insurance coverage. However, only citizens can access them. For example, Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, offers discounted insurance plans to eligible citizens.
Former President Barack Obama’s health care law allows for children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26. Some states like Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey even let kids stay on their parents plans until age 30.
For people who are residing in California but without a legal immigration status, California’s Medicaid program offers government-funded insurance to people under 25 years of age and for those 50 and over. There is also a minimum income criterion to qualify for this insurance option.
So, what happens to the adults who are ineligible because they make just over the minimum income limits?
Thanks to Covid 19 pandemic and the resultant unemployment, the number of uninsured has gone up drastically. Per recent estimates, over 3 million Californians were going to be uninsured by 2022.
California state also implemented a change to its MediCal program that is effective May 1, 2022. MediCal will now cover anyone over the age of 50 with low income and irrespective of immigration status.
After January 1, 2023, this new Parent Healthcare Act law will be available for people who have health insurance through the private marketplace like Covered California and want to claim their parents or stepparents as dependents on their insurance plan.
What Is The Parent Healthcare Act – Everything You Need To Know
The Parent Healthcare Act, Assembly Bill 570, is a new law in California that allows some adult children to add their parents and stepparents as dependents on their own insurance plan. This is applicable to people who dont qualify for other assistance programs and/or subsidized health insurance because of their illegal immigration status.
Starting in year 2023, this new law will now allow for more than 3 million Californians to get affordable health insurance who otherwise would have been paying out of pocket for their medical expenses. Just as federal regulations allow for parents to claim their children as dependents on their insurance coverage, the Parent Healthcare Act will allow the same in reverse.
The California Department of Insurance estimates approximately 15,000 adults will use this law once it goes into effect.
How Does The Parent Healthcare Act Work?
This law will allow families to cap their out-of-pocket costs, thus reducing overall health care costs for working families.
Anyone who does not qualify for subsidized health insurance programs because of their income or immigration status will qualify to be covered by their adult children’s insurance plans.
To start the process, the adult child will have to provide written notice to anyone who is eligible for or enrolled in Medicare about the free counseling services available from Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), if they want to add their parent or stepparent to their own health insurance coverage.
Related Article: EVERYTHING You Want To Know About Being Eligible For Medicare
If the applicant applies through Covered California, they will also receive written notice about the free counseling services from HICAP.
You can find your local HICAP here, or call 1-800-434-0222 to schedule an appointment with a HICAP counselor.
Definition of ‘Dependent’, Per the Assembly Bill 570
In general, the term qualifying relative means, with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year, an individual (A) who bears a relationship to the taxpayer described in paragraph (2), (B) whose gross income for the calendar year in which such taxable year begins is less than the exemption amount (as defined in section 151(d)), (C) with respect to whom the taxpayer provides over one-half of the individuals support for the calendar year in which such taxable year begins, and (D) who is not a qualifying child of such taxpayer or of any other taxpayer for any taxable year beginning in the calendar year in which such taxable year begins.
Eligibility For The Parent Healthcare Act
- To be eligible, the parent or stepparent should be dependent on their children
- The parents should not qualify for any subsidized state benefits like MediCal or other programs
- The parents should be living with their adult children
- The adult children should not be getting their health insurance from their employer. Only health insurance plans bought from an individual marketplace qualifies to access the Parent Healthcare Act
- The applicant should be living within the plan’s service area
- The parent must rely on their child for at least 50% of their total support
- Green card holders who have not met the 5-year waiting period to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid are eligible to claim their parents or stepparents as dependents on their own health insurance plan
When Will The Parent Healthcare Act Go Live/Become Effective?
Parent Healthcare Act, which will allow adult children to claim their parents and stepparents as dependents has been signed into law in California. This is expected to go live on January 1, 2023. This new law will be effective for individual health care coverage issued, amended or renewed beginning January 1, 2023.
Reducing healthcare costs and ensuring that the marginalized communities of California have access to the healthcare system is integral to ensuring that no one is left behind. By 2023, over 15,000 adults who could not access health care will be able to get subsidized medical help irrespective of their immigration status. Stay tuned to this page as more guidelines are made available by the US government and the California Department Of Insurance.