[Parentsgroup-list] Citizenship and Masshealth

Brandeis McBratney-Owen mcbratn at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Aug 7 11:44:19 EDT 2006

Dear Parents-
Although you don't have to be a citizen to apply for mass health, the type
of visa you have and other information is taken into consideration when given
coverage or not.  For non-resident (no green card), non-citizen adults,
especially those who are here on student visas and have only been here for a
few years, getting full/partial Mass Health coverage is probably very
restricted.  However, the guidelines covering non-resident, non-citizen
children may be different so still apply.  Even if you or your spouse can't get
coverage, your children might get coverage or be referred to CMSP coverage at
the very least (which isn't great but is better than nothing).

Even a permanent resident may have restrictions placed on their coverage.  My
husband is a permanent resident (green card).  When my daughter got full Mass
Health coverage last year, he got partial emergency coverage only (it covered
emergency care and hospital stays only-which we were grateful for).  They cited
the fact that although he was a permanent resident, he had only lived in the US
for a year and a half at that point so Federal laws limited the kind of
coverage he could get.  So not only was his visa status, our income, and our
family size taken into account, but the amount of time he had lived here.

Again, I'd apply for the sake of your kids no matter what your status is.  You
never know what your children might qualify for.


Brandeis McBratney-Owen
Ph.D. Candidate
Biological Sciences in Dental Medicine
Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Department of Developmental Biology
190 Longwood Avenue, 4th floor
Boston, MA 02115

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