On May 14, 2021, President Biden formally rescinded the long-enjoined Healthcare Insurance Ban. Immigrants should breathe a sigh with relief. Originally, Trump issued the executive proclamation on October 4, 2019 ordering all immigrants applying for residency at a US Consulate or Embassy to have private health insurance before entering the United States.
The measure was aimed to reduce legal immigration by forcing spouses, minor children, sisters, brothers, and parents of US citizens to demonstrate that they purchased private unsubsidized health insurance. Who did this affect? Low to moderate income immigrants and their families.
We all know that health care costs in this country are astronomical and many Americans do not have health insurance as they cannot afford the premiums. I received dozens of phone calls from clients asking how to purchase a private plan. Most companies will not even provide an estimate when the person lacks a social security number. Imagine waiting outside the country separated from your family and you cannot get a private health insurance plan because you haven’t been approved yet. Also, health insurance is closely tied to employment in this country. An immigrant joining their family likely hasn’t entered the US to find a job or attend interviews.
The announcement was a disaster. Shortly after the announcement, lawyers came to the rescue. Several organizations sued the federal government to stop the implementation of the health insurance mandate. Luckily, the injunction stopped the law in its tracks. After the election, President Biden promised to strip the executive order mandating private health insurance. Last week, President Biden kept his promise. Good news for immigrants.