Can a pregnant couple on a tourist visa apply for Medicaid? 4 Answers as of January 21, 2011

My wife will deliver a baby in two weeks. We both have B2 visa for tourism. Can we apply Medicaid or other public insurance which is legal? And is there any impact to our new baby in the future? Also, will it affect any immigration plan for both us?

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Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
Medicaid on a tourist visa? I should certainly hope not.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 1/21/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 1/20/2011
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
The baby will be a U.S. citizen so public benefits for the child would not be a factor. Public benefits for the Mom could have a later negative impact if ever applying for permanent residency or a future nonimmigrant case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
Your pregnant wife is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the American public. Americans do not have a generalized public health care system. In fact, many Americans have an aversion to that type of system. Medicaid is limited to US citizens and US legal residents, so you are not eligible for it. "Public insurance" is limited, also, to citizens and legal residents who have low incomes. As tourists, you are not allowed to work in the United States, so proving low income will be a challenge.

If you have any insurance from your home country, you may find a hospital to honor that. Otherwise, be prepared to pay: upwards of $5,000 for an uncomplicated birth with a minimal hospital stay. Your American-born child will have a claim to US citizenship, however, only citizens over age twenty-one can sponsor their parents as immigrants. If you ever hope to immigrate here, it is best not to have a history of being a public charge. You still have time to take your wife home to give birth in your own country.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/20/2011
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