ALERT: On Oct. 11, 2019, federal judges ordered the Department of Homeland Security to postpone implementing and enforcing the public charge final rule nationwide. The effective date of this rule is postponed until there is final resolution in the court cases.
- 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 October 15, 2019. 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 https://vtlawhelp.org/health for FREE legal assistance BEFORE you apply or cancel your health benefits.
Download the Public Charge Fact Sheet