On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) published the Public Charge Final Rule titled Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds 2019-17142 to the Federal Register. This rule will go into effect on October 15, 2019. Many states across the nation have already filed lawsuits to block the new rule, including California. The Final Rule changes the definition of Public Charge by creating an additional basis for denying Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card) to applicants who have used, or are considered “likely” to use, public benefits including Medicaid (Medi-Cal), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), Federal Public Housing and Section 8 assistance, or cash assistance under SSI, TANF or similar state, local or tribal programs. Please keep in mind that things are changing fast, and there are still many unknowns. However, given the potential impact of this Final Rule on the patients and communities we serve, we are providing a high level summary of the main provisions below. The Rule only impacts people applying to become a lawful permanent resident for the first time or applying to enter the United States The Rule does not apply to:
  • Children under age 21 years and other special immigrant juveniles
  • Pregnant Women up to 60 days after giving birth
  • Self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act
  • Refugees, asylees, survivors of domestic violence, survivors of trafficking and other serious crimes, and certain other protected groups
The Rule is not retroactive, therefore any services used from now until the effective date of 10/15/19 are not considered in a public charge determination under the Final Rule We have confirmed that recent coverage expansions in California for income-eligible undocumented adults up to age 26 will not be impacted by the Final Rule. Bill H.R. 3222: No Federal Funds for Public Charge Congresswoman Judy Chu has introduced a bill, H.R. 3222, providing that no Federal funds may be used to carry out the Final Rule of the Department of Homeland Security entitled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” We will update you as this bill progresses. Next Steps Next week we will release a fact sheet, FAQs and supporting talking points to help educate our employees and patients on the potential impact of this Final Rule. In the interim, please contact Berenice Nuñez Constant, VP of Government Relations, if you have any questions.