A Trump-era rule that deterred immigrants from seeking medical and housing benefits is no longer in effect, and Nevada officials are encouraging immigrant families who qualify for Medicaid to apply.
The 2019 Public Charge Final Rule deemed immigrants ineligible to apply to be a legal permanent resident if they had accessed public support for health care or housing. President Joe Biden rescinded the rule earlier this year.
The previous rule had a “chilling effect” on immigrants, according to a 2020 study by the Urban Institute. The study found immigrants, especially in mixed-status families, were hesitant to enroll themselves or their children in programs such as Medicaid and SNAP (Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program).
“We are committed to improving the health of Nevadans and reducing the number of uninsured in this state,” Suzanne Bierman, Nevada Medicaid Administrator, said in a release. “We want Nevadans, including eligible immigrant populations, to know that applying for needed health insurance from Medicaid will not impact immigration status.”
The government is encouraging states to reach out to immigrants to encourage them to apply, according to the release.
Applicants for Medicaid may apply at any time at Access Nevada, or by calling 1-800-992-0900. Those who are not eligible for Medicaid may qualify for subsidies and tax credits to help cover insurance premiums. Eligibility information is available at NevadaHealthLink.com or by calling 1-800-547-2927.
“Immigrant families in Nevada have been reluctant and fearful of applying for Medicaid and other benefits because of the previous public charge rule, including immigrant parents whose citizen children are eligible,”said Charina de Asis, Director of the Governor’s Office for New Americans. “This new federal rule change is great news for immigrant families. We will continue to work with Nevada Medicaid and our community-based organizations to ensure that eligible Nevadans are aware of this change.”
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