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What Immigrants Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

Posted: November 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Re-posted from

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla.- The Affordable Care Act has had its problems the past few months, and adding to the confusion is the mandate that immigrants must have health insurance as well, or risk being penalized.

“The Affordable Care Act does apply to anyone who is legally present in the United States, so that includes obviously U.S. citizens, permanent residents, but also people here with temporary visas,” says Victoria Karins.

Victoria Karins is a well-known immigration attorney at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, in Sarasota county. She tells us the mandate may affect the economy here on the Suncoast.

“This may be one more thing that could possibly lead our snowbirds and other tourists that we rely on to go somewhere else. If it’s something that’s going to increase expenses and not benefit them, I think it’s a factor that they’ll take into consideration when deciding where they want to spend their tourism dollars, “said Karins.

We asked a couple from Scotland, who visit the Suncoast a few times a year, if they would consider buying a second home here despite the new mandate.

“It would stop us from coming because we have free national health service. When we come here on vacation we have to pay, so if coming to stay longer, we’d be paying even more money,” said Marion Elder, a tourist from Scotland.

However, some say it would be a dream to live in the United States and would want the coverage.

“We are prepared to pay, but within limits. It depends on how much it would cost for the health insurance,” said Bill Wiggs, visiting from England.

According to the latest census data, immigrants made up 12.2% of Manatee County’s population and 11.5% in Sarasota County. That’s more than 88,000 immigrants on the Suncoast, most of whom are migrant agricultural workers or have a second home here and both groups help fuel our economy.

Immigration law firms and insurance groups like, Professional Benefits Inc. in Sarasota, are great resources here on the Suncoast to help guide immigrants that have further questions.

Written by Victoria Karins

Victoria Jaensch Karins graduated from the University of South Florida in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. She attended law school at St. Thomas University in Miami and received her JD in 1994. She is admitted to the Florida Bar and has practiced immigration law since 1995. Her areas of practice focus on 1) business executives, managers, investors, professionals and skilled workers; 2) family-based immigration, and fiancé visas and 3) citizenship and naturalization. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Central Florida Chapter, having served as a Board Member, Seminar Coordinator and as the Vice Chair for the Tampa Region. Her pro bono activities have focused on abused immigrant women and children.

One Comment on “What Immigrants Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act”

  1. 1 Michael Barth said at 4:29 pm on December 2nd, 2013:

    Thank you for this clarification, and I think you are right to assume this will (again) effect the economy. For us, being from Germany with German insurance, there is no doubt at all that we will NOT take an American one. If you forgive me but premiums, coverage and quality of service in most places I have been are a far cry from European standards, and that coupled with invoices far above anything reasonable.
    By the way, I’m typing this in a hotel room in Germany, 22:20, a bit sleepless after the implant surgery I had this morning. Because even flying Business MCO to FRA/HAM, getting a rental car, a hotel for 20 days (all above standard) and eating out each evening, is cheaper than just the procedure in the US.

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