Monday, October 21, 2019

HEALTHCARE EMPLOYERS WILL NEED TO UPDATE THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE ENROLLMENT POLICIES

Background

Most foreign educated nurses enter the US through Consular Processing.  Because of the new Presidential Proclamation that goes into effect on November 3, 2019, Musillo Unkenholt recommends that all US employers of foreign nurses -- and all Consular Processed immigrant visas -- immediately evaluate their corporate health insurance programs.  Because immigrants will now need to be enrolled in health insurance programs within 30 days of entry into the US, employer policies may need to be renegotiated.

MU suggests that employers take these steps:

First, review your health insurance policy to confirm that new immigrants will be immediately eligible to enroll in health insurance programs.

Second, draft a letter outlining the employer’s health insurance program for immigrants who are attending Consular Process interviews after November 3, 2019.

Third, continually follow up with these immigrants to make sure that they are enrolled in health insurance programs within 30 days of entry into the US.

Frequently Asked Questions About the new Presidential Proclamation on Health Insurance

If the employer’s program currently calls for new employees to enroll in more than 30 day will this be a problem under the new Proclamation?

Yes.  Immigrants must be offered the ability to be activated in their employer’s health insurance policy within 30 days of entry into the US.

Does the 30 day clock start from when the immigrant reports to work or from when the immigrant enters the US?

The 30 day clock starts from when the immigrant enters the US.  The employee's start date is irrelevant.

What if the immigrant wants to take a few weeks and visit family before beginning with our company?

It does not matter.  The immigrant must be enrolled in the health insurance program before the 30th day after entry to the US.

What if the immigrant fails to enroll in the health insurance program within 30 days?

The immigrant could conceivably be found to have committed immigration fraud, and could, theoretically, be deportable. There is no liability on the part of the employer if the employee fails to enroll.

Can I ask the immigrant to enroll in market-based state health insurance plan?

Yes.  But the market-based state health insurance plan must be unsubsidized by a US government entity.

Does an employer have to enroll spouses and children of dependents?

In order for spouses and children to be approved for their immigrant visa they must prove to the Embassy/Consular official that they will be enrolled in a health insurance plan within 30 days of entry into the US.  Therefore, the spouses and children must either be eligible for enrollment on the employer’s plan within 30 days of entry into the US or they must convince the Embassy/Consular official that they will be covered under alternative health insurance.

Some of my immigrants enter the US to activate their SSN and state license, but then exit the US after a few days.  These immigrants then re-enter the US after their SSN and state license is issued.  When do these immigrants need to be enrolled under a health insurance policy?

Even though these immigrants will be quickly leaving the US, it is still necessary that they prove to the Embassy/Consular official that they will obtain health insurance within 30 days of their initial entry.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Sir, I just did my SSN trip last Oct 14, 2018 and came back again in home country while waiting for my license and will return to U.S next year. is this still applicable to me and may family since we had the trip before November 3? We already paid for our green card. Thank You.

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    Replies
    1. If you already have a green card, then this does not apply.

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