Most Apple Health (Medicaid) coverage will not count against you in the public charge test
En español: La mayoría de la cobertura de Apple Health (Medicaid) no contará en su contra en la prueba de carga pública
What is public charge?
Some individuals who apply for a green card (lawful permanent resident status) or a visa to enter the U.S. must pass a “public charge” test – which looks at whether the person is likely to depend primarily on government services in the future. Immigration officials look at all of a person’s circumstances, including their age, income, health, education or skills, family situation and their sponsor’s affidavit of support or contract.
What has changed?
The 2019 public charge rule from the previous administration has ended. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer consider receiving Apple Health (Medicaid) coverage a negative factor when a person is applying to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR or green card).
What does this mean?
You can receive Apple Health coverage, emergency medical care, and COVID-19 assessment and treatment, and not worry about it impacting your ability to become a Lawful Permanent Resident in the future.
Currently, the only health benefit that immigration officials can consider for the public charge test is government-funded long-term institutional care, such as care you receive in a nursing facility. If you are concerned about long-term care that you need now or got in the past, you can find help at the organizations below.
Alien Emergency Medical (AEM) and state-funded programs are excluded from reporting under public charge.
HCA will continue to protect the confidentiality of each client’s personal information and does not share this information unless required by law.
Where can I get more information?
USCIS guidance has reverted to its previous rule. Visit 1999 Interim Field Guidance for more details.
What if I have questions or concerns?
If you have questions or concerns about the potential impact of your use of public benefits, contact an immigration attorney. You may contact one of the following organizations for help:
- CLEAR Hotline: 1-888-201-1014
- Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP):
- NWIRP Seattle Office: 206-587-4009
- NWIRP Yakima Valley (Granger) Office: 509-854-2100
- NWIRP Wenatchee Office: 509-570-0054
- Immigration Law Help (search Washington state)
- National Immigration Law Center