Affordable Care: Husband undocumented immigrant, family are citizens

My husband is undocumented and our sole source of income.  Our children and I are citizens.  How does Obama care affect us? 

International Family

Dear International Family,

Your husband, as an undocumented immigrant, is exempt from the requirement to be insured. The rest of you, as citizens, do face the “individual mandate.”

You would qualify for subsidies to purchase a plan from the exchange, if there is no employer plan offered to your husband from his job or if his employer’s plan does not meet health reform’s standards for coverage and affordability. A plan is “affordable” if it costs less than 9.5% of income to join and cover one person (the employee); it meets the coverage standards by covering at least 60% of average value. (There is a lot of technical mumbo jumbo about this that I won’t go into; I am confident that the vast majority if not all employers will offer plans that meet the coverage standards.)

How much you get in subsidies depends upon your family income. It doesn’t matter whether the wage earner is undocumented; it matters that you file taxes listing yourself as spouse and the children as dependents. Go to to find out what options are available in your state.

If your family income is less than 133% of Federal Poverty and you live in a state that is expanding Medicaid, then Medicaid is one of your options. will direct you to this option if it’s available in your state.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.