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If you move to the US as a non-US citizen, are you eligible to sign up to the new so-called 'Obamacare' (ACA) health system for medical coverage, presuming you're a resident? If not, besides becoming a citizen, is there any requirement one might need to fulfil in order to obtain it?

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You're eligible to sign up, you're not eligible for the State/Federal assistance in paying the premiums. As long as you're a US tax resident (filing forms 1040/1040A/1040EZ, not the NR versions) - you're required by the ACA to have coverage either through the employer or through the exchanges or otherwise. But there are no limitation on your immigration status to buy a policy, in fact - many illegal immigrants can only have coverage as the result of ACA.

  • I've also read that you are subject to the mandate and eligible for the exchanges if you are a tax resident. However, whether you are a resident during a year may not be known until the end of the year. For example, if you arrive in the U.S. at the beginning of the year, but am not sure if you will stay enough during the year to satisfy the Substantial Presence Test, you are not sure if you are a resident. Then how do you know during the year if you are required to get insurance or not, and if you are eligible for the exchanges or not? Do you have any insight? – user102008 Apr 27 '14 at 6:27
  • @user102008 Look at the CoveredCA (California ACA exchange), page 15 of the pdf: coveredca.com/PDFs/paper_application/… Essentially, if you're in any legal status other than tourist (I'm guessing, according to the PDF tourists may also be eligible), and illegal but "registered" in one way or another - you're eligible for exchange, even if you're not eligible for subsidies. Even those not listed (i.e.: illegals) are still encouraged to apply. – littleadv Apr 27 '14 at 6:42
  • 'Required' shouldn't be an issue. You would be utterly crazy to spend any significant amount of time in the US without some form of health coverage. – DJClayworth May 2 '14 at 13:26
  • @DJClayworth I always said Americans are crazy. There's a whole TV network that pounds their mind with "you must not have health insurance, and die because being sick is your own fault". – littleadv May 3 '14 at 18:54

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