Changes to public charge and impacts on Medi-Cal recipients

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Effective December 23, 2022, a new public charge regulation published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides additional protections to help ensure that immigrants and their families can access critical public benefits without fear of immigration consequences. We hope that this will help more local families feel comfortable seeking the services they need, including health care.

Under this new regulation, health care, food and many other public benefits are not considered for the purposes of public charge. Medi-Cal/Medicaid is not considered under the new public charge regulation (except in the case of long-term institutionalized care, or skilled nursing home care).

How does this change affect community members?

Every family is different, and it is important for community members to know their rights and have accurate information on whether the rule impacts them or not. Public charge does not apply to everyone. For more information, refer to the California Health & Human Services Agency Public Charge Guide.

If community members have questions, an immigration or public benefits attorney may give them advice based on their unique situation. Please encourage individuals to reach out to a qualified professional for legal advice. A list of nonprofit organizations who can assist is available on the California Department of Social Services website.

Please direct community members who are interested in applying for Medi-Cal to our Medi-Cal page, which is available in English, Spanish and Hmong.

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