Rabat – US President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Friday that will deny entry to legal immigrants who cannot prove that they will have health insurance or the means to pay for it within 30 days of their arrival to the United States.
Trump argues that hospitals are providing care to uninsured individuals without compensation. These uncompensated care costs “can drive hospitals into insolvency,” the President states in the proclamation.
Uninsured individuals, he continues, strain taxpayers and government budgets by relying on publicly funded healthcare programs.
“Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our healthcare system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs,” Trump declares.
How much does health insurance cost?
Most advanced and industrialized countries have a universal healthcare program. The US is an exception, and more than 40 million people do not have health insurance.
Some citizens receive coverage through their employers or share the plan of an insured parent or spouse. Others purchase healthcare plans independently.
Low-income citizens can rely on government-funded programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Veterans Health Administration.
Some health insurance companies and programs refuse to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Those hoping to immigrate to the US cannot benefit from federal health programs. Instead, they must receive health insurance through their employer or purchase a plan individually.
Premiums for individual unsubsidized health insurance plans average around $440 per month, but this rate can differ according to an individual’s age and state of residence. Family plans are significantly more costly and usually amount to more than $1,000 per month.
The proclamation is set to go into effect on November 3, 2019. It applies only to non-American citizens residing abroad seeking to apply for an immigrant visa to the US.
It does not apply to foreign nationals who receive a valid immigrant visa before the proclamation goes into effect.
Also exempt are refugees, asylum-seekers, non-citizen children of US citizens, recipients of Special Immigrant Visas, immigrants with a suitable sponsor in the US, unaccompanied migrants under the age of 18, immigrants who would carry out US law enforcement objectives, and immigrants whose entry would be of national interest.
Applicants for immigrant visas will be considered on a case-by-case basis.