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New Federal Public Charge Rules

Reduce Fear with Facts

Under the Affordable Care Act, more people are getting free and low-cost health insurance than ever before. U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants are eligible for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Complex new federal standards for determining when someone is likely to become a public charge do not affect most immigrants. Many public programs are not considered in the federal public charge test. Use of public programs do not automatically make anyone a public charge.

If you have questions about the new federal public charge rules, your status or a family member’s status, and/or use of benefits, resources are available to provide free and confidential help.

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U.S. Citizens and Lawfully Present
Immigrants are Eligible for Coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, more people are getting free and low-cost health insurance than ever before. U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants are eligible for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Download the Citizenship and Immigration Eligibility Chart to see which programs you may be eligible for.

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Many immigration statuses are eligible for coverage, including:

  • Legal Permanent Resident (LPR/green card holder)
  • Asylee
  • Refugee
  • Cuban/Haitian entrant
  • Conditional entrant
  • Battered spouse, child, or parent
  • Trafficking survivor and spouse, child, sibling, or parent
  • Granted withholding of deportation or withholding of removal under the Immigration Laws or the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Lawful Temporary Resident
  • Nonimmigrant status (includes worker visas, student visas, and citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau)
  • Administrative order staying removal issued by the Department of Homeland Security
  • Member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or American Indian born in Canada
  • Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
  • Deferred Action Status*

*Individuals granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are not eligible.


You may also be eligible if you are applying for any of these statuses:

  • Adjustment to LPR status
  • Temporary Protected Status with employment authorization
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Victim of Trafficking visa
  • Asylum
  • Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal under immigration laws of the Convention Against Torture (CAT)


Employment authorization may make you eligible:

  • Registry Applicants
  • Order of Supervision
  • Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation
  • Applicant for Legalization under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
  • Legalization under the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act)

Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to buy health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

“Mixed Status” Families

Many immigrant families are of “mixed statuses,” with members having different immigration and citizenship statuses. For example:

  • Some families may have taxpaying members who can’t buy health insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder, alongside other family members who are eligible to use Washington Healthplanfinder as citizens or lawfully present immigrants.
  • Some members may not be eligible for Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) coverage, while other members are eligible for Washington Apple Health.

“Mixed status” families can apply for premium tax credits or lower out-of-pocket costs for private insurance or for Washington Apple Health for their dependent family members who are eligible for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder. Family members who aren’t applying for health coverage for themselves won’t be asked if they have eligible immigration status.


There are laws protecting your personal information

Federal and state laws generally protect the privacy of people who apply for or receive health care coverage, nutrition, economic support, or other public benefits. Information provided through Washington Healthplanfinder is shared with other government agencies only for purposes of determining eligibility for health insurance coverage.

Many immigration statuses are eligible for coverage.

Please see the Eligibility Chart below:

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Immigrants can apply for coverage

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