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Immigrants

Federal Public Charge Rules

Reduce Fear with Facts

Under the Affordable Care Act, more people are getting free and low-cost health insurance than ever before. U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants are eligible for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Some individuals who apply for a green card (lawful permanent resident status) or a visa to enter the U.S. must pass a federal “public charge” test. Use of public programs does not automatically make anyone a public charge and many public programs are not considered as part of the test.

Receiving free or low cost health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder – including Apple Health (Medicaid) – does not count against anyone who needs to take the “public charge” test. More information about Medicaid and public charge is available from Washington Apple Health.

If you have questions about federal public charge rules, your status or a family member’s status, and/or use of benefits, contact one of the following organizations for free and confidential 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

Additional resources are also available on the Governor’s website.

U.S. Citizens and Lawfully Present
Immigrants are Eligible for Coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, more people are getting free and low-cost health insurance than ever before. U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants are eligible for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Immigrant Image

“Mixed Status” Families

Many immigrant families are of “mixed statuses,” with members having different immigration and citizenship statuses. For example:

  • Some families may have taxpaying members who can’t buy health insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder, alongside other family members who are eligible to use Washington Healthplanfinder as citizens or lawfully present immigrants.
  • Some members may not be eligible for Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) coverage, while other members are eligible for Washington Apple Health.

“Mixed status” families can apply for premium tax credits or lower out-of-pocket costs for private insurance or for Washington Apple Health for their dependent family members who are eligible for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder. Family members who aren’t applying for health coverage for themselves won’t be asked if they have eligible immigration status.

There are laws protecting your personal information

Federal and state laws generally protect the privacy of people who apply for or receive health care coverage, nutrition, economic support, or other public benefits. Information provided through Washington Healthplanfinder is shared with other government agencies only for purposes of determining eligibility for health insurance coverage.
 

Many immigration statuses are eligible for coverage.

Please see the Eligibility Chart below: