HHS Reminds States Public Charge Rule No Longer in Effect

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), issued an informational bulletin to states’ Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies reaffirming that the 2019 Public Charge Rule “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” is no longer in effect. CMS directs states to encourage eligible immigrant populations to access public benefits related to health and housing without fear of the final rule established by the Trump Administration.

Recall, the finalized public charge rule required individuals applying for or seeking adjustment to an immigration status or visa to establish that they were not likely at any time to rely on specified public benefits. Earlier this year, the Biden-Harris Administration announced it would abandon the rule and return to 1999 guidance on public charge inadmissibility which does not take into account use of specified public benefits, including Medicaid.

The full public charge informational bulletin from CMS is available here.