The United States has the most expensive health care costs in the world, so for immigrants who are fleeing their home countries for a better life in the United States it is clear they can probably not afford it.In the United States we have things like medi-cal and other federal health care plans that are “affordable” healthcare options. However, immigrants and their families do not have access to these plans.
There are some exceptions for DACA recipients as they are able to receive employee sponsored health insurance and students have access to college or university health plans. With the status of DACA recipients being threatened under the Trump administration that leave very few options for Dreamers.
However, there is an option that any immigrant with a passport from a foreign country can use-- travel insurance. According to Seven Corners, a company that sells travel insurance, anyone with a passport from another country can be eligible to use their products. They offer comprehensive coverage, some dental, 24-hour travel assistance, and an extensive network of providers. There are different plans and the price and coverage varies with each one. The more coverage offered and the older you are the higher the price. Currently, there is also an additional cost for Covid-19 to be covered.
The longest policy offered is 364 days and you can re-apply as soon as that policy ends. Although, any pre-existing conditions will not be covered even if it was covered under the previous policy, because that policy ended.
There is coverage, however, for the acute onset of a pre-existing condition. This means that if you have a pre-existing condition and at the time you purchase the policy you have a flare up or sudden recurrence due to that pre-existing condition, and you need immediate care you can be covered.
If you are interested you can get a quick quote on their website or speak to a representative on their live chat.
It is not the best and only option, but it is one that could work if you are in desperate need of coverage quickly, and it could work for immigrants who do not qualify for DACA as well. This policy is one you can purchase once or twice a year for things like dental/medical emergencies or maintenance.
One concern for immigrants when having to go to the hospital is risking someone finding out about their status, but if they are covered using travel insurance they are okay. Seven Corners states that they do not share any of their policy information with immigration officials, and as far as they are concerned you are visiting the US.
As mentioned before, this is not the best or only option, but unfortunately we live in a country with limited options for immigrants and refugees. The best case scenario is that everyone is able to afford and have health coverage, but until then hopefully this tip can help someone in dire need of health coverage.