In the past year, the number of Chinese immigrants in the Los Angeles area has doubled. We gathered information from many insurance agents and the most frequently asked question we got was:
“Why won’t they let me buy insurance? I’m willing to spend the money and I want to buy insurance!”
Before Obamacare, insurance companies had the right to deny those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, etc. Even though you are willing to spend money, it’s not easy finding a suitable health insurance plan.
When Obama took office in 2014, he advocated affordable health insurance nationwide, eliminating the restriction of denying those with pre-existing conditions.
The time to apply for health insurance is during Open Enrollment period, which is once a year and only three months long. So for example, if you want to buy health insurance for 2019, then you can only apply from October 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019. Unless you qualify for Special Enrollment, then you will not have access to health insurance.
Many immigrants who want to buy health insurance in the U.S. face another dilemma—when they want to visit their relatives, in-laws, or help take care of their grandchildren, they come for a couple months, but travel insurance doesn’t cover those daily needs.
Especially for 50-60 year old adults, they are traveling from further areas or might get jetlag. All these factors make them more prone to getting sick and puts them at a higher risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. As a result, it is important that they have insurance that covers more than what travel insurance covers—insurance that covers more than just emergencies.
There are a lot of people waiting for their green card/visa or have not received their residency yet, so they don’t have a Social Security Number yet, which is why they can’t buy insurance.
For short-term visits to the United States (within 3 months) we usually recommend the Visit USA-HealthCare travel insurance. This can provide emergency medical services if a sudden accident or illness occurs while you’re in the U.S. The daily minimum premium is no more than $2! This is super cheap compared to the tens of thousands of medical bills you would have to pay if something were to happen and you didn’t have insurance.
However, if you’re planning on going to the U.S. each year and staying in the U.S. for longer (4-12 months), or you’re waiting for your residency to process, and you need medical treatment or are pregnant, how should you buy insurance?
Those who do not have a SSN cannot apply for typical U.S. resident health insurance. The basic travel insurance is not enough to cover the daily medical needs such as diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy, and other pre-existing conditions that are often excluded from coverage. In this case, we recommend the MYT health insurance plan. (Click here for a quote!).
Not only will you have the same benefits as the basic medical health insurance in the U.S. but you can do all things in one place—going to the hospital, getting a checkup, doing tests, getting medication, etc.
Obamacare’s ten essential benefits are also included, one of which is free medical check-ups. Many of the drugs are relatively cheap. There are also doctors and nurses who speak Chinese, and translators there to help as well!
Obamacare’s Ten Essential Benefits
- Income, Social Security number is not required
- Doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospitalization, and surgery are covered
- Free annual physical exam and routine pregnancy check-ups
- No maximum for insurance claims
- Pre-existing conditions are also covered
- Available in nearly 500 hospitals and clinics throughout California