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As the March 31, 2014 deadline draws near for many in the United States to sign-up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many immigrants (legal and illegal) are confused whether they are subject to this deadline and fines for non-enrollment.  Immigration lawyer Gail Seeram explains the Immigrants enrollment in Affordable Care Act.  The ACA’s health insurance “marketplaces” is available only to U.S. citizens and people who are “lawfully present” in the United States.  Undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients are excluded from the ACA programs but may be eligible for emergency Medicaid or state-funded programs.

An applicant’s citizenship or immigration status will be verified using government databases. The verification’s purpose is to determine the applicant’s eligibility for health insurance, not for immigration enforcement. According to Immigration Lawyer Gail Seeram, applicants who are U.S. citizens will have their citizenship verified with the Social Security Administration (SSA) using their SSN. For naturalized citizens, in the event that SSA’s information is not up-to-date, citizenship will be verified by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  If there are people on your application who aren’t applying for health coverage, you don’t need to provide their citizenship or immigration status.

The following list of immigrants are considered “lawfully present” and eligible for ACA: lawful permanent resident (LPR/Green Card holder), asylee, refugee, Cuban/Haitian entrant, paroled into the U.S., conditional entrant granted before 1980, battered spouse, child, or parent, victim of trafficking and his or her spouse, child, sibling, or parent, granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under the Convention against Torture (CAT), individual with non-immigrant status (including worker visas, student visas, and citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), Deferred Action Status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) isn’t an eligible immigration status for applying for health coverage.), Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Adjustment to LPR Status with an approved visa petition, Victim of trafficking visa, Asylum who has either been granted employment authorization, OR is under 14 and has had an application for asylum pending for at least 180 days.), and certain individuals with employment authorization document for Registry applicants, Order of supervision, Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation, Applicant for Legalization under IRCA, Applicant for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Legalization under the LIFE Act, Lawful temporary resident, and Granted an administrative stay of removal.

Here’s a list of the documents that can be used to show your immigration status: Permanent Resident Card, “Green Card,” (I-551), Reentry Permit (I-327), Refugee Travel Document (I-571), Employment Authorization Card (I-766), Machine Readable Immigrant Visa (with temporary I-551 language), Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (I-20) Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS2019), and Notice of Action (I-797).

If you’re not sure which status applies to you (or someone on your application) or what documents must be presented, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 for help with this section of the application.  The website to enroll is https://www.healthcare.gov

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