Medicaid Eligibility for Green Card Holders (a.k.a. “Permanent Residents”)
Requirements are different for certain special categories of permanent residents (“PRs”) (e.g., asylee, refugee, etc.), but assumes the person does not fall into one of those categories, and that he/she received their Green Card after August 22, 1996.
There are two types of Medicaid: Emergency Medicaid and Full-Scope Medicaid.
- Emergency—PRs qualify as long as they meet the general eligibility requirements.
- Full-Scope Medicaid:
- Must have been a permanent resident for five years, and
- must be in a federal foster care program, or
- be a child under 21 AND live in a state that provides Full-Scope Medicaid to permanent residents, or
- be pregnant AND live in a state that provides Full-Scope Medicaid to permanent residents.
“Deeming” rules may also apply, which means the income of the PR’s sponsor is taken into account when determining Medicaid eligibility. Deeming rules no longer apply when the PR attains citizenship or has earned 40 qualifying quarters (i.e., has worked for consecutive 10 years and paid into the system).
As stated above, per federal law, the PR is ineligible for Medicaid benefits for the first five years they have a Green Card. However, New York State has ruled this unconstitutional, so New York state and local governments will pay for all of a PR’s Medicaid benefits for the first five years.
The Medicaid office will almost certainly verify the PR’s immigration status with the DHS.
See https://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/immigration/restrictions-sum.shtml for more information.