Public Charge and Health Insurance
On October 4th, 2019, the President issued a proclamation stating that certain immigrants entering the United States must have, or soon acquire, “approved” health insurance. However, A lawsuit challenging the proclamation has been made. At this time, the government cannot enforce the proclamation.
The proclamation is designed to lower the costs for healthcare providers and taxpayers by lowering the number of uninsured people in the U.S. For example, insurance helps limit overcrowding in emergency rooms. To achieve this, the President limited the entry of foreigners who “will financially burden the United States healthcare system”. There were some foreigners exempt, such as asylum seekers.
“The proclamation, labeled a ban because of its tremendous reach and impact, limited ‘approved’ health insurance to plans that many immigrants do not qualify for; are unavailable in large states like New York and California; or would be impossible to obtain shortly upon arrival.”
U.S. citizens who had gone through all the necessary challenges to bring family members to the U.S. had this additional burden: they would have to prove that their family members had health insurance, or would acquire health insurance within 30 days of entry to the U.S. Alternatively, they must demonstrate that they have adequate resources to pay for foreseeable healthcare costs.
Often, local health insurance is unavailable until after marriage on a fiancee visa. Also, many health insurance companies cannot approve health insurance quickly upon arrival in the U.S.
Denial of the Motion to Stay
The panel of judges denied the motion to stay pending the appeal of the proclamation. The Ninth Circuit’s decision to deny an administrative stay pending the appeal means that the proclamation requiring medical coverage cannot be immediately implemented. The government must not implement this proclamation at this time.
The proclamation relates to the new Public Charge requirements that the current administration has instituted, and which are currently enforced. The Public Charge rule requires arrangements must be made for foreseeable medical problems. Such arrangements must happen before an officer will issue a visa or approve an adjustment of status to a green card holder. However, there are no specific guidelines under the Public Charge requirement comparable to that contained in this Health Insurance proclamation. The Public Charge rule does not extend to unforeseeable medical problems.
It helps to clearly understand applicable rules when going through immigration processing. It also helps to understand how an immigration officer thinks when reviewing and considering your application. Missteps cause your case to be held up and prevent your case from being approved.