Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Illegal immigrants cannot purchase a plan through the Affordable Care Act’s Healthcare Exchange Marketplace
  • You are eligible for a health insurance plan if you are a lawfully present immigrant
  • “Qualified non-citizens” may be eligible for Medicaid and CHIP coverage after a five-year waiting period and meeting other state qualifications

Most United States citizens, United States nationals, and immigrants who are here legally are all eligible to apply and purchase plans on the Healthcare Marketplace. Illegal immigrants are not eligible for any savings, tax credits, or plans on the Healthcare Exchange.

If you’re a legal immigrant or American citizen, click here to compare health insurance quotes now and explore various coverage options for free.

What is a “qualified non-citizen” and what immigration statuses make me eligible for the Marketplace?


The term qualified non-citizen usually refers to people with a variety of immigrant statuses including green card holders, asylees, and refugees. Those who are Cuban or Haitian entrants, were paroled into the United States, are victims of trafficking, have temporary protected status, or are lawful temporary residents are also eligible to purchase a plan on the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace website. If you were a conditional entrant before the year of 1980, a resident of American Samoa, or if you are here on a worker’s visa, you can also use the Marketplace.

If you are applying for certain immigrant statuses, you may be eligible to use the Marketplace as well. This includes those who are applying for temporary protected status with employment authorization, special immigrant juvenile status, and a victim of trafficking visa.

If you are applying for asylum, you may be eligible for a marketplace plan if you also have employment authorization or you are under the age of 14 and you already submitted an application that has been pending for 180 days or more.

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What immigration documents will I need to prove my status?

If you are a lawfully present immigrant, you may need to provide documentation to prove your immigration status when you apply for a health insurance plan on the marketplace. If you are a permanent resident, you may need to provide your green card information.

Depending on your immigration status, other required documents may include your foreign passport, your employment authorization paperwork, your refugee resettlement eligibility letter if you are under the age of 18 or your immigrant visa.

Can I apply for healthcare through the Marketplace if there is an illegal immigrant living in my household?


If you are a legally documented immigrant and are a member of a mixed status family with differing document statuses, you are still eligible to apply for a Marketplace plan and receive tax subsidies and other cost-sharing assistance.

If you are an undocumented immigrant with legal and documented dependents, you can apply for a marketplace plan for them, as well as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. If you are not applying for yourself, you will not be required to disclose your immigration status.

Am I eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program if I am a lawfully present immigrant?


If you are a qualified non-citizen, you are typically eligible to apply for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program after you meet certain requirements. In many cases, you must wait five years after receiving your qualified immigration status before you are eligible for either of these programs. Refugees and asylees usually do not have to wait the five years.

Several states have changed the law and provide coverage to children and pregnant women in some cases without having to wait five years.

In certain circumstances, Medicaid will pay for emergency treatment for people who meet Medicaid eligibility income and residency requirements but do not have an eligible immigration status.

If you choose to apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program as a qualified noncitizen, it will not affect your chances of becoming a United States Citizen or a permanent resident.

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Do I need health insurance if I am a United States citizen living outside the U.S.?

If are a United States citizen but will be out of the country for at least 330 days in a 12 month period, you are not required to get health insurance and will not be subject to the individual mandate penalty fine.

If you are a resident of a United States territory, you are not required to have health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act law and you typically cannot purchase a plan in the federal marketplace. U.S. territories can create their own marketplace.

Do illegal immigrants get healthcare under Obamacare?


Illegal immigrants cannot purchase a healthcare plan through the Marketplace but qualified noncitizens are eligible to do so.

If you do qualify for private coverage in the U.S., enter your zip code below to compare free quotes right here.