In order to qualify for coverage under Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), applicants must meet certain criteria and provide certain information. To begin with, Obamacare is designed for use by Americans. This means that if you want to take advantage of health insurance coverage and services offered through the ACA, you must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a lawfully present alien living in the United States. In other words, those who have entered and are residing in the U.S. illegally are not eligible for insurance coverage through Obamacare. Those who are currently incarcerated are also not eligible for coverage.
If you meet the criteria to enroll in the program, you must then provide proof of your status by way of two separate forms of identification or documentation. These documents need not necessarily be photo IDs, although driver’s licenses and state issued IDs may be acceptable. As a U.S. citizen you may use a birth certificate or social security card, for example. In truth, it is not difficult for any U.S. citizen with proper paperwork to prove his/her status in order to sign up for Obamacare.
What may be more difficult is for those that are eligible for Obamacare but are not U.S. citizens to prove their status and enroll in the new healthcare marketplace. That said, there are several forms of acceptable documentation that may be used to provide proof of status and therefore eligibility for health insurance coverage under Obamacare. Naturalized citizens, legal residents, and others living legally in the U.S. can prove their legal status by presenting a green card (or permanent resident card), a reentry permit, a refugee travel document, an employment authorization card, a qualifying immigrant Visa, or one of several other forms of acceptable documentation. The full list can be found on the Obamacare Facts website or by contacting healthcare.gov representatives.
A state-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license) is probably the easiest way to provide proof of legal status, especially since a birth certificate, social security card, or other verifying documents are required to get a driver’s license in the first place. A U.S. passport could also be a good bet if you don’t happen to have a driver’s license for some reason. However, this does not exempt legal residents that are not U.S. citizens from enrolling in Obamacare and obtaining affordable health insurance coverage. Such residents simply need to make sure they have proper documentation proving their status in order to complete the enrollment process.
The same cannot necessarily be said for immigrants that have entered and/or reside in the U.S. illegally. Because these residents have no documentation to show their legal status, applying for Obamacare would be extremely difficult. Without appropriate documentation, obtaining affordable healthcare through state exchanges is impossible. This is not to say that illegal residents cannot receive benefits through a job, for example. With an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), undocumented workers can get jobs, and they may receive health benefits as a result. However, this is not enough to sign up for Obamacare, which requires a valid social security number, along with other documents intended to verify status.
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