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Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry

The US District Court for the District of Oregon on November 2 issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the new health insurance requirement for immigrant visa applicants from taking effect on November 3, 2019. As discussed in an earlier alert, the White House issued a presidential proclamation that sought to deny admission to the United States of “immigrant” foreign nationals that will “financially burden the United States healthcare system.” The proclamation effectively deems aliens seeking to immigrate permanently to the United States inadmissible unless they will be covered by “approved” health insurance within 30 days of their entry into the United States or have the financial resources to pay for “reasonably foreseeable” medical costs.

Approved health insurance includes employer-sponsored plans, unsubsidized health plans offered on the individual market, short-term health policies effective for a minimum of 364 days, catastrophic plans, a family member’s health plan, military medical plans under Chapter 55 of Title 10 of the United States Code (including coverage under the TRICARE program), a visitor health insurance plan valid for at least 364 days, a Medicare plan, and any other health plan designated as adequate by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Medicaid plans are not acceptable for persons over 18.

With the TRO in place, foreign nationals will not be subject to the proclamation when applying for immigrant visas for the time being. The TRO will remain in effect for up to 28 days while the court considers whether to issue a preliminary injunction that would block enforcement while the lawsuit is pending.

If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers: Shannon A. Donnelly, Eleanor Pelta, Eric S. Bord, A. James Vázquez-Azpiri, Laura C. Garvin, Christina M. Gonzaga.

For additional government-related guidance, learn more about our Washington strategic government relations and counseling practice.