Public Charge Rule

Worried about COVID-19? Medicaid will pay for testing and treatment for COVID-19 for people on Medicaid. Using Medicaid for COVID-19 does NOT count as a public charge. It will NOT keep you from getting a green card or otherwise hurt your immigration case.  

Keep your children enrolled in Medicaid! Keep taking them to the doctor! Your child’s Medicaid will NOT impact your immigration status. This is true if your child is a U.S. citizen and regardless of your child’s immigration.

  • Public charge is an immigration law issue that applies to only certain people.
  • The federal Department of Homeland Security released a new rule on public charge in August 2019 about immigrants who apply for Medicaid and other help from the government.
  • The new rule on public charge does not count Qualified Health Plans or Premium Tax Credits as help from the government.
  • The new rules are scheduled to begin on February 24, 2020. They do not apply to most benefits you received in the past.
  • DVHA believes that only a small group of immigrant Vermonters who are enrolled in Vermont health benefits are affected by this rule.
  • Enrollment in federally-funded Medicaid will not impact the following groups of immigrants: pregnant women, children under 21, and people in certain immigration categories like asylees, refugees, and victims of violence.
  • Benefits used by your children do not affect you.
  • Current green card holders who are receiving Medicaid will only be subject to a public charge determination if they leave the country either (a) for more than 6 months or (b) with certain criminal convictions, and then want to come back to the United States.

NEED HELP DECIDING WHAT TO DO? If you are worried about how getting health benefits may impact your immigration status, you can contact Vermont Legal Aid at 1-800-917-7787 or for FREE legal assistance BEFORE you apply or cancel your health benefits.

Download the Public Charge Fact Sheet

This webpage reviews the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) final rule on Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds. The final rule was published August 14, 2019 and is effective February 24, 2020.