October 16, 2018 Sara Rosenbaum Last week the Trump administration published its long-anticipated proposed “public charge” rule , which carries enormous implications for Medicaid and immigrants enrolled in the program. A public charge is an individual considered dependent on the government for subsistence. The proposal would radically expand the extent to which public benefits received by legal immigrants who are not yet citizens are used as evidence of public charge status. This status plays a role in determining admission into the United States, and adjusting legal residency to permanent “green card status.” Current policy states that medical assistance counts as evidence of public charge only when it is used to pay for long-term institutional care. The rule, now in a 60-day comment period, would sweep away this approach. Enrollment for more than 12 months over a three-year period in virtually any forms of Medicaid could be used as evidence in a public charge
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