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Understanding immigrants' eligibility for MassHealth & other subsidized coverage, 2020

Vicky Pulos, MLRI

This  2020 memo summarizes the current immigrant eligibility rules that MassHealth and the Health Connector use in making decisions about what kinds of coverage non-citizens with different kinds of status can receive.  It includes Appendices listing different categories of immigrants eligible for different kinds of benefits under health program rules. Two tables summarize the information. It includes citations to state & federal regulations along with links to other resources. If you know a clien'ts immigration status, use the Find function to see in which Appendix it is shown, then use the information about whether the status is Qualified, Qualified Barred, Non-Qualified Lawfully Present or PRUCOL in Table 2 to see what kinds of coverage the individual may be able to receive based on their immigration status and other factors shown on the Table. 

September 30, 2021 Update: Medicaid and other public benefits for Afghans Paroled into the US between July 31, 2021 and September 30, 2022

Congress amended the law to provide that  citizens or nationals of Afghanistan who was paroled into the US between July 31, 2021 and September 30, 2022 are eligible for public benefits in the same way as Refugees. This means they are "Qualified" and not subject to the 5-year bar. Section 2502 of the Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022, enacted on Sept 30, 2020 as part of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act,  HR 5305. MassHealth Guidance released in October 2021 here: EOM 21-15: MassHealth Benefits for Afghan Immigrant Evacuees

Decemeber 27, 2020 Update: Medicaid Coverage for Citizens of Freely Associated States (COFA). 

 Congress amended the law to provide that individuals living in the US  iin accordance with the Compacts of Free Association (COFA) between the US and the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau are "Qualified" and not subject to the 5-year bar. Section 218 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, enacted on Dec 27, 2020. CMS Guidance released in October 2021 here:  Medicaid Eligibility for COFA Migrants And see MassHealth Eligibility Operations Memo 21-18 on COFA


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