Is Obamacare a Public Charge?

Is Obamacare a Public Charge?

is obamacare a public charge

The Affordable Care Act mandates many Americans to purchase health insurance or face a fine, while providing financial aid that helps to reduce premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

Some immigration officers use a rule known as “Public Charge” to assess a person’s eligibility to become a citizen or maintain their Green Card status. Public Charge rules take into account receipt of certain means-tested government benefits as an indicator.

What is a public charge?

On December 23, 2022, DHS implemented its final rule that provided clarity and consistency for noncitizens regarding how DHS administers the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility. This new rule replaces an aggressive policy instituted under Donald Trump that penalized people using certain services funded by Medicaid such as long-term institutionalization.

Public Charge Determinations depends on a variety of factors, such as a person’s age, health, family status, income/resources/education/skills. Immigration officials are required by law to consider all these elements when making public charge determinations.

Food assistance, free legal help and other social services should not be pursued with fear that doing so might damage their immigration status or visa application in New York. The City offers numerous services and benefits available to all residents irrespective of immigration status such as COVID-19 testing/vaccinations/food assistance programs/rental discount programs as well as many others that do not affect immigration status or application for a visa/green card application process.

How do I know if I’m a public charge?

As opposed to the 2019 rule that was ultimately vacated, the 2022 public charge rule requires adjudicators’s to consider all relevant factors when making public charge determinations, including age, family status, income/assets/education/health status/other considerations when making a determination of public charge status. Although certain non-cash benefits such as food stamps/SNAP/WIC/Section 8 housing assistance/Medicare coverage of long term hospitalization or nursing home care cannot be counted, such programs and policies

DSHS encourages families to make use of all non-cash state and local benefits available, including school lunches, SNAP benefits, child care subsidies, utility discounts and COVID-19 vaccinations which do not count against them under the new public charge rules, which took effect December 23rd 2022. For more information please see our info page or view our comprehensive info page.

The new rules do not affect all immigrants; rather, they primarily affect those applying for Lawful Permanent Residence or visas to enter the US based on family petition or having U and T visas, asylum or refugee status or VAWA status.

What if I’m not a public charge?

In 2021, the Biden-Harris administration reversed President Trump’s 2019 public charge rule, which had discouraged immigrant families from enrolling or using Medicaid for preventive services, chronic condition management or breast cancer treatment. However, this new policy did not impact CHIP as CHIP does not generate public-charge determinations under current rules; nor SNAP eligibility nor legal permanent resident’s ability to receive Affordable Care Act marketplace subsidies.

Government officials granting green cards or visas must evaluate each case individually when making decisions about who may become dependent upon public assistance in the future. Immigration laws stipulate that when determining public charge, government officials must consider factors like age, health, family situation, income assets and skills of potential applicants as a part of this evaluation process. For more information about your individual situation consult an immigration lawyer or use one of the ILRC Public Charge and Immigration Toolkits available online.

How do I keep my benefits?

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, has made health insurance accessible to millions of Americans. It includes provisions designed to ensure everyone can afford coverage of adequate quality at an affordable cost.

The Affordable Care Act also mandates all individual plans sold on the marketplace to meet minimum standards of value and affordability, helping keep premiums down for many who have signed up. Some individuals can even qualify for assistance through subsidies in the marketplace to help with costs of health insurance coverage.

Prior to the Trump administration’s 2019 revisions of the public charge rule, noncitizens who were enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP might face barriers when becoming lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens if found dependent upon these benefits. Under these new rules, however, noncitizens will still have access to health coverage they require.

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About the Author: Raymond Donovan