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Trump to Move to Require Immigrants to Show Proof of Health Coverage

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President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation that could give sales of some niche health insurance products a boost.

The president is moving to require some types of would-be immigrants to show that they have health coverage or equivalent arrangements in place when they apply for immigrant visas.

“Data show that lawful immigrants are about three times more likely than United States citizens to lack health insurance,” according to the proclamation. “Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our health care system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs.”

(Related: Health Insurance Choices Could Get Your Client Deported)

The new rules will apply starting Nov. 3, according to the proclamation.

In the past, litigation has delayed the effective date of some rules the Trump administration has tried to apply to non-U.S. citizens traveling to the United States.

Who Would Be Affected?

Under the terms of the proclamation, the proclamation rules will apply only to people who get visas on or after the proclamation effective date, not to people who already have immigrant visas.

The policy would not apply to tourists, refugees, asylum seekers, or some other classes of visa holders.

Approved Health Insurance

Under the terms of the rules described in the proclamation, “approved health insurance” would include:

  • Group health coverage.
  • An individual major medical insurance policy purchased without use of an Affordable Care Act premium tax credit subsidy.
  • A short-term health insurance policy designed to stay in effect for at least 364 days, or until the beginning of planned, extended travel outside the United States.
  • A catastrophic plan.
  • A family member’s plan.
  • Medicare.
  • “A visitor health insurance plan that provides adequate coverage for medical care as determined by the secretary of Health and Human Services or his designee.”

The HHS secretary could also classify other forms of coverage as acceptable coverage.

For individuals over age 18, “approved health insurance” would not include Medicaid. The term would also exclude coverage purchased with an Affordable Care Act premium tax credit subsidy.


A copy of the Trump proclamation is available here.

— Read Trump Calls for Turning Medicare Provider Pay System Upside Downon ThinkAdvisor.

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