Health Insurance For People Without A Social Security Number |Here’s How & Options

Updated: August 5, 2020 at 11:07 am

health insurance for people without a social security numberYou know how important health insurance is. Without health insurance, you could seriously face significant hospital and doctor costs. If you don’t have a social security number, you may believe that you can’t obtain health insurance. That is not necessarily true. Health insurance is available. Honestly, it’s not the best health insurance. However, it will cover you in case of illness, accident, or a trip to the hospital. In this article, we discuss health insurance for people without a social security number.

Please be aware that we are taking limited requests for the undocumented immigrant market. If you are undocumented, please reach out to us via our contact us page.  We will then send you an email / questionnaire. Only those who return the completed questionnaire will receive assistance from us. We will help you the best we can. 

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Exchanges

In order to purchase a health insurance policy off the health insurance exchanges, you must be lawfully present. This means you are a

1 – US citizen,

2 – US National, or

3 – Lawfully present immigrant (on VISA or some other accepted form), or

4 – Specific, protected immigrant such as refugees from identified countries

You can find out about immigration status and forms on the website. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to buy health insurance off the exchanges.


What If I Am Not Lawfully Present?

If you are not considered lawfully present, then you can’t purchase a health insurance policy off the exchanges. In other words, you are undocumented. However, that does not mean, in our opinion, that you cannot purchase health insurance for you and your family. You can. You just can’t purchase an ACA health insurance.

However, we are no longer in the undocumented immigrant market. If you would like health insurance, please give a short-term insurance carrier a call and see if it is available in your state.


Health Insurance For People Without A Social Security Number

If you are lawfully present in the United States, you have a few options. We list them below.

First Option – Indemnity Plan

The first option is an indemnity insurance plan with a minimum essential coverage (MEC) policy to meet the individual mandate of the ACA. Indemnity insurance plans do not coordinate with other insurance. You have the option of assigning any benefits to the provider or to yourself. If you assign the benefits to yourself, you can do whatever you want with the money.

The MEC policy provides coverage for preventative care so you meet the individual mandate of the ACA. Preventative care includes screenings, vaccinations, etc.

Available indemnity insurances include a fixed benefit plan which will pay for any hospital stays, critical illnesses, and accidents.

You do need a tax ID number, also known as an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). We have discussed this before if you need life insurance and don’t have a social security number. If you have an ITIN, you can get health insurance with most carriers. You may not be able to obtain health insurance off the exchange, but you will with some of the carriers we work with.

An ITIN doesn’t look at immigration status. It simply provides a way for you to pay your taxes. Nearly all carriers will require some form of identification, and an ITIN qualifies in some cases.

You can read that ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status.

The premiums on these plans are usually 50% less than that of an ACA/exchange plan. They work well for those people who want more control of their healthcare options, expenses, and cost management.

This isn’t a very popular option although, over time, it can save you money. As an aside, many US citizens are gravitating towards this type of insurance as health insurance costs continue to skyrocket.


Second Option – Short-Term Medical Policy

You have another option. You can apply for a short-term medical policy. What is a short-term medical policy? It is a policy designed to last less than 12 months, although, depending on your state, many states allow up to 3 years of coverage. What happens at the end of the term? That is a great question. You have to reapply. That means if you are diagnosed with a major illness or accident during this timeframe, you probably won’t be covered in the future. This is an important consideration you must understand.

You may be thinking you will be subject to underwriting and pre-existing conditions when you reapply. Generally, that is the case. With one carrier we work with, that isn’t. Pre-existing conditions are attached to your initial application. But, upon renewal, any health conditions will be considered for future applications! That means you’ll be declined if you have any severe health conditions.

What do these short-term medical plans cover? Well, just about everything, including:

(1) Doctor visits and hospital stays

(2) ER visits and ambulance service

(3) Laboratory work, imaging

(4) Diagnostic testing, cancer screening

(5) Much more

Some services are not covered. We discuss those below.

Premiums are about 20% less than comparative major medical policies and about 50% less out-of-pocket costs (i.e. deductibles, copays, coinsurance).

These policies do not meet the minimum essential coverage (MEC) of the ACA. As such, you may need to purchase a separate MEC policy to meet the individual mandate of the ACA.

Short-term medical plans usually do not require an ITIN. Usually, the only requirement is that you reside in the United States. This is a health insurance plan that doesn’t require people to have a social security number.


Services Not Covered – IMPORTANT

Since these plans do not follow ACA/Obamacare plans, there are some services which are not covered. These services include, but are not limited to:

(1) prescription drugs – we offer a separate prescription drug insurance plan or a discount prescription drug plan

(2) normal pregnancy – so if you are looking for pregnancy coverage, this policy WON’T pay

(3) pre-existing conditions – usually a 12-month lookback period

Each option has specific exclusions as well. (Note: for transparency, we go over these exclusions.)

Underwriting is a requirement with these options. Usually, the underwriting process is a health questionnaire and a phone interview.

Please be aware that you will have out-of-pocket costs with either plan – all health insurance plans have some type of cost-sharing.

Also, please be advised these plans are not eligible in all states. For example: California, New York, New Jersey, most of the New England States, Oregon, and other states do not allow these products. Also, please be aware that people age 65 and older likely do not qualify. Contact us to find out. We would be happy to help.


Third Option – Temporary Travel Medical Insurance

If you have a VISA or will soon obtain a VISA, temporary travel medical insurance works as well. We work with all the major carriers here. There are options for every state. However, this is available for people with VISAs. Why? If you submit a claim, your VISA is supporting documentation and proves your legal residence in the US.




Worried that you don’t have a social security number? You can still obtain health insurance.  One option is an indemnity plan and the other option is a short-term medical plan. You could also purchase temporary medical insurance. Which is right for you? That depends on your needs and situation. We have generally exited this line of work, but if you would like to learn more, feel free to reach out to us. We only work with people who are serious about their healthcare. If you are serious, then contact us. If you are fishing to get some information, there is an easier way. Just go onto any of the websites for alternative health insurance to find what you need. We would be happy to help, and are serious about helping you, but only if you are serious about helping yourself, too.




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I am a CFP® Professional and have an MBA. I founded My Family Life Insurance to provide honest, trustworthy advice and economical insurance solutions to individuals, families, and business owners. Contact me if you have any questions. There is no risk! If I can't help you, you've learned a little more, and we'll part as friends. Seriously! Can your current agent say this?

48 thoughts on “Health Insurance For People Without A Social Security Number |Here’s How & Options”

  1. Hello , my name is Elver Question is , I need health insurance and I’m undocumented at the present moment. I live in Chicago Illinois and came across your article. Would you be able to help find health insurance? Tou can contact me.

  2. Our company is looking at moving our health insurance, we filling out new forms for their underwriters. The new companies are asking for my social security #. Must I give it to them?

    1. Hi Doris – yes, usually social security numbers are a requirement for major medical insurance. The insurance we describe is not major medical insurance at all.


      Update: it is considered major medical; however, these plans do not cover some services as we describe in the article.

  3. i am an undocumented immigrant at the time with an ITIN which company and type of insurance if any can i get

    1. Hi Felarel,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Really, the only option is short-term medical, and the options depend on the state you live in.


  4. I am married to a Canadian and would like to get her some basic health insurance. We have not started the immigration process we are saving to hire an immigration attorney. What are my options please.

    1. Hi Mark,

      The options available really depend on the state you live in. Short-term medical could be available, bur short-term medical has some inherent risks that I speak about in the article.


  5. Hello, I’m Undocumented with an ITIN # from California and wonder if my husband can add me oh his insurance policy …if not would like to buy my own. What should I do?

    1. Hi Martha,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. Your husband needs to reach out to his HR department and see if you can be added to his policy.


  6. My name is Tracy Phillips. I live in Chicago I don’t have a social security number but have an ITIN number how do I get medical insurance for me and my family?

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for reaching out. Health insurance is possible, likely a short-term medical policy. If you would like our help, just let us know. I can email you more information.


  7. My husband has only his ITIN.( waiting on green card). I’m a U.S. citizen. Can we get health insurance?

    1. Thanks for reaching out to us, Joann. I texted you with additional information I need to help. Please look for that text and reply back.


  8. Good afternoon I’m a us citizen my mom coming from Cuba in a month she is 75
    I want to stay living with me but i need a medical insurance for the first year before she can apply for legal papers
    Please advise. Thanks Rudy

    1. Hi Rudy,

      I will email you some information shortly. If you would like our assistance, feel free to reply to the email.


  9. I am on a dependent visa in MA, USA. Undergoing a divorce process. I have a ITIN. My ex husband removed me from his employer insurance plan. Could you please advise and help with a minimum monthly payment health insurance.

    1. Hi Shilipi,

      Thanks for reaching out. Honestly, I would ask your attorney (assuming you are working with one) how to proceed. There are laws in place for this kind of situation about spouses dropping the other one from insurances during a divorce. I am not a lawyer, so I would recommend you consult one.

      Best of luck,

  10. I live in Maryland, i have ITIN but no social security no. Please let me know what kind of insurance i could buy.Thanks.

      1. I haven’t seen any email yet, i’ll be appreciate it if you can send me some information.

        1. Hi Van,

          I indeed sent it to you and see the information in my “sent” box. Did you check your junk/spam folder? Also, you can search for John Barnes, CFP and look for my email.

          I would be happy to help.

  11. I really like reading through an article that will make
    people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  12. Hello, My mother, sister and her baby son are coming from Ecuador with Visa. What type of insurance she could apply to cover all three? Mom is over 65, sis is 39 and baby is 6 months old.

    1. Hi Maira,
      Thanks for reaching out. Yes, we can help. I will email you information directly to your email.

  13. Hi
    i am undocumented immigrant, however i have the letter of the process to receive the greencard, but not the letter of approval, and i also have itin, what type of insurance can i have?

    1. Hi Maressa,

      Yes, you can obtain health insurance. As I write in the article, it really depends on what state you live in, as some states do not allow these alternative health plans sold to residents. Nevertheless, it is possible, and we can set it up for you. Feel free to give us a call at (800) 645-9841.

  14. Hi
    i am undocumented immigrant, i live in Baltimore Maryland, i have itin, what type of insurance can i have? Thank you

    1. Hi Ujo – Thanks for reaching out to us. You are eligible for health insurance, life insurance, and dental insurance. We can help you with all three. Health insurance might be tough, due to state law, but life and dental are available.

  15. Hi, I would like to purchase health insurance for my mother, she is undocumented but has an ITIN. She lives in Illinois.
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Ivan – it is best to reach out to us (800) 645-9841 or enter your information on our “contact us” page. We can provide options for your mom.


    1. Hi Danita – Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, Washington state is one of the handful of states that does not allow alternative plans that don’t meet the guidelines of the ACA. Sorry. I would speak to someone in the state’s insurance department and see if there are options through the state for your friend.


  16. I live in Virginia, My visa F1 is expired, I have ITIN but no social security. Please let me know what kind of insurance i could buy. Thanks.

  17. I live roughly 60-40 between New Jersey and North Carolina (it’s complicated), respectively. I only have ITIN and need health insurance. I’d appreciate your advise, please. Thanks for the helpful article.

    1. Hi Liz – Thanks for reaching out. If you have primary residency in North Carolina, we can help you with health insurance. Please reach out to us at (800) 645-9841 or you can explain your situation more through our contact us link on our website.

  18. Hi John. My grandfather lives in VA, he is undocumented, has no SSN or ITIN but needs health insurance. He has eye cataracts and needs surgery. Can you please let me know if there are any insurance companies that would provide medical coverage? Thanks.

    1. Hi Timi,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. It really depends on the age of your grandfather. Also, pre-existing conditions won’t be covered.

      Maybe reach out to the VA state health insurance department and see what plans they offer for someone in your grandfather’s position.


  19. I’m married to US citizen, have an ITIN and currently waiting for green card. I live in Massachusetts. What are my options for insurance? My husband couldn’t get me on his insurance without me having social security. Thanks

    1. Hi Juli,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, Massachusetts has some strict laws and does not allow the alternative plans we work with sold in its state. Did you reach out to MassHealth at all? They might have plans available in your situation.


  20. My parents here on B2 visa and we have extended their stay due to covid. I need to get them health insurance as their travel insurance is expiring. We are based in Minnesota. Any suggestions? They do not have an ssn or itin.

    1. Hi Raashi,

      Thanks for reaching out to us and so sorry to hear about your parents. Have you contacted the travel medical insurance carrier? That would be my first option to see if they can extend it without the VISA.


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