Understanding all there is to know about your immigration status can be hard enough without having to worry about health insurance. But part of the idea behind having good health insurance is that you shouldn’t have to worry.

You shouldn’t have to worry that a broken bone or an illness might take every penny you own. You shouldn’t have to worry about making difficult decisions about the health care of your children because you can’t afford it.

Having health insurance in California is the law. But do you qualify? And if so, for what?

Am I Required to Have Health Insurance in California?

Under the Affordable Care Act in California, the state requires that all US citizens, US nationals, and Lawful Permanent Residents get acceptable levels of health care insurance. When the ACA (also known as Obamacare) was first launched, the individual mandate required that all Americans have health insurance or face a fine. While this was taken out of the federal law in 2019, it is now state law in California.

Unless you qualify for exemptions, you may be charged tax penalties if you go multiple months without health insurance in California. If you are undocumented, however, you will not be held to the same individual mandate requirements.

Which Groups of Immigrants Qualify for Health Insurance?

Most immigrants qualify for health care coverage in California under the ACA.

Immigrants that should qualify for health insurance in the state of California include:

  • Asylees
  • Green card holders, or lawful permanent residents (LPRs)
  • Lawful temporary residents
  • Other humanitarian immigrants, including those with temporary legal protected status
  • Refugees
  • Those in America on workers visas or student visas
  • US citizens and US nationals

If you have questions about whether you or your family members may be eligible for health insurance in California, please speak to the attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. Our legal team has years of experience serving clients across the Bay Area.

Do Undocumented Immigrants Qualify for Health Insurance?

Those who are undocumented in California may not have the same health coverage options as other immigrants, but they do have options. While undocumented immigrants may not be eligible, there is no rule against them applying and learning what their other options may be.

Even though undocumented immigrants may not qualify under Covered California, they could potentially be eligible for Medi-Cal, provided they are under age 26, a DACA recipient, or pregnant or have recently given birth.

Health care rules change all the time and it can be difficult to keep up with every update. As recently as January 2022, California was in talks to extend health care coverage to more undocumented immigrants.

To find out whether you are eligible, or for help with the application process, please contact our Oakland law office and schedule a free initial evaluation. 510-488-1020