The Washington Post

A Reader Asks: Will International Students Be Eligible For Health Law’s Subsidized Coverage?

Q. Since some noncitizens can receive premium tax credits to buy a health plan on the health insurance marketplace, does that mean that international students are also eligible for tax credits if their income is between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level?

A. They may be. “Lawfully present” immigrants, including international students who are enrolled in a college or university in the United States and visiting scholars who are here teaching or conducting research, for example, may be eligible for subsidized coverage on the health insurance marketplaces.

In general, in order to qualify for subsidized marketplace coverage, international students’ income would have to be between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, as you noted ($11,490 to $45,960 for an individual in 2013).

If their income is less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level, however, they may also qualify for tax credits on the exchanges under a special rule for people who are lawfully present in the country but not otherwise able to qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status

In general, people who are here temporarily, such as students, can’t qualify for Medicaid, says Jenny Rejeske, a health policy analyst at the National Immigration Law Center.

There’s a further twist. In order to receive tax credits, international students must be state residents, and that can be problematic.

“We advise students to talk with an immigration lawyer to make sure that declaring residency won’t interfere with their visas,” says Rejeske.

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communications organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Be a man and cry
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A flood of refugees from Syria but only a trickle to America
Chicago's tacos, four ways
Play Videos
What you need to know about filming the police
What you need to know about trans fats
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
Play Videos
Riding the X2 with D.C.'s most famous rapper
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.