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Treatments for non legals persons.

Jan 14, 2013

Im thinking about moving to the USA with a tourist visa. Im on treatment in my country (Mexico). Is it possible to get medical assistence such as labs analysis and antiretroviral medicine while in the USA without a green card or citizenship?

I mean... aids treatments could be free in certain countries like the USA or Canada ?

Response from Ms. Douaihy

Dear Writer,

Great question.

Health care in the United States is a complicated business. Most health care facilities accept personal/direct payment, so if you have money to pay for specific treatment you will not be turned away based on the fact that you are in the US on a non-immigrant tourist visa. There are also many health care facilities in certain geographic locations that offer medical care on an income-contingent sliding scale.

The problem is, however, that the cost of health care in the United States is astronomical. Poor and elderly citizens and qualified immigrants in the US are entitled to government-subsidized medical insurance. "Qualified immigrants" are lawfully present immigrants defined in federal law, i.e. Individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence, asylees, victims of trafficking, and many more categories of persons. While you would be lawfully here on a tourist visa, you would not be considered a "qualified immigrant" for purposes of availing yourself of comprehensive, government-funded medical insurance. Something important to know is that non-immigrants may be provided with Medicaid coverage for treatment of an emergency medical condition only.

One health program you may be eligible for as a non-citizen, depending on your factual circumstances, is the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program (ADAP). ADAP helps ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS who are uninsured or under-insured have access to medication. You have to meet income guidelines and be considered a state resident to qualify for ADAP.

To learn more about what treatment options you may be eligible for, check out the below link to the "Health Resources and Services Administration" of the US government. Good luck to you.

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