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Health insurance without a social security number (Using an ITIN instead of a SSN)


by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT       revised January 7, 2015

A member asks:

I would like to know if somebody can qualify for health insurance with ITIN number. I do not have a social security number. If yes, what will be the requirement to apply for medical coverage in this case?

OnlineAdviser responds:

A social security number is not required for health insurance but if you are applying for coverage on a government-run exchange is it necessary to verify legal immigration status. Commercial insurance enrollers like Freedom Benefits will not ask about immigration status. 

There is no difference in the insurance application procedure when applying without a SSN; just use the ITIN in the social security number field for any policy listed on Freedom Benefits or the supported insurance exchanges.

For convenience, some of the most popular insurance policies for immigrants and other applicants without a social security number are listed below. All are available online.

  • Inbound Immigrant - usually the best value for those who have been in the U.S. for less than two years
  • Core Health Insurance - guaranteed issue (no medical questions) limited benefit insurance coverage that may be used with any doctor or hospital. Includes liberal coverage for pre-existing conditions after the policy has been in force for 12 months.

An individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) or the first nine digits of a passport number can still be accepted in place of a social security number on the application. Eligibility for the large majority of health insurance plans is based solely on location of residence and citizenship is not an issue.

An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) issued by the US Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is most commonly used in place of the social security number (SSN) on any insurance application for an applicant without the SSN. The IRS requires that an insurance company obtain the SSN or ITIN of any policy owner who may receive an large insurance benefit payment. 

The federal government offers additional information about what numbers and documentation that can be used in place of a social security number on a health insurance application. Keep in mind that the advice from the federal government specifically applies to federally managed insurance enrollment services.

Keep in mind that it takes up to six weeks to obtain a ITIN so plan in advance if you need this. International insurance policies for foreign nationals in the US do not require a SSN or ITIN so this may be a better option for a short term insurance coverage need. See the listing of international policies on the Site Map for more information.

Other resources:

Dental insurance without a social security number

Am I required to provide a social security number to obtain health insurance

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OnlineAdviser and OnlineNavigator services respond to consumer questions in a range of published media. Effective July 1, 2012 all questions about health insurance are governed by the terms and conditions of and other consumer finance questions are handled through although the two services may otherwise be referred to interchangeably in this Web site and other publications. Selected questions and responses related to health insurance are republished here to help others with the same issues. Privacy is protected; personal information is removed prior to publication. These services are provided without charge on a best-efforts basis.
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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.