New rules that allow immigration officials to consider use of Medicaid coverage and other non-cash benefits in considering whether to approve applications for legal residence are likely to cause a chilling effect on Medicaid enrollment, with the impact spilling over to utilization of other health programs and services, even among family members not directly affected by the rules. Medicaid health plans’ front-line staff members can help with messaging — but the nuances are tricky and communications must be carefully managed, experts say.
The Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule was issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Aug. 14, 2019. But after several states sued the Trump administration over the rule, preliminary injunctions prevented the regulation from taking effect last year. The Supreme Court on Jan. 27 ruled that the rule could take effect on Feb. 24 in every state but Illinois while litigation works its way through the courts.