Lawfully present immigrants are eligible for coverage through Pennie.
The term “lawfully present” includes immigrants who have:
- “Qualified non-citizen” immigration status without a waiting period (see details below).
- Humanitarian statuses or circumstances (including Temporary Protected Status, Special Juvenile Status, asylum applicants, Convention Against Torture, victims of trafficking).
- Valid non-immigrant visas.
- Legal status conferred by other laws (temporary resident status, LIFE Act, Family Unity individuals). See a full list of immigration statuses eligible for Coverage through Pennie.
Lawfully present immigrants and premium savings
If you’re a lawfully present immigrant, Pennie can get you covered. You may be eligible for lower costs on monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs based on your household income.
- If your annual income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL): You may qualify for premium tax credits and/or cost sharing reductions (CSR) to lower the cost of health coverage and care.
- If your annual household income is above 400% FPL: You may still qualify for premium tax credits that reduce the cost of your health coverage in 2022.
- If your annual household income is below 100% FPL: If you’re not otherwise eligible for Medicaid based on your immigration status you may qualify for premium tax credits and other savings through Pennie, if you meet all other eligibility requirements.
Immigrants and Medicaid & CHIP
Immigrants who are “qualified non-citizens” are generally eligible for coverage through Medicaid (Medical Assistance or MA) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), if you meet Pennsylvania Medicaid requirements.
In order to qualify for Medicaid and CHIP coverage, many qualified non-citizens (such as many Lawfully Permanent Residents or green card holders) have a 5-year waiting period, also known as the “5-year bar”. This means they must wait 5 years after receiving "qualified" immigration status before they are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP coverage. However, there are exceptions. In Pennsylvania, children aged 18 or younger, pregnant women, refugees, asylees, or lawful permanent residents who used to be refugees or asylees don’t have to wait 5 years to qualify for MA or CHIP
The term “qualified non-citizen” includes:
- Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR/Green Card Holder)
- Cuban/Haitian entrants
- Paroled into the U.S. for at least one year
- Conditional entrant granted before 1980
- Battered non-citizens, spouses, children, or parents
- Victims of trafficking and his or her spouse, child, sibling, or parent or individuals with a pending application for a victim of trafficking visa
- Granted withholding of deportation
- Member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or American Indian born in Canada
- Citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau who are living in one of the U.S. states or territories (referred to as Compact of Free Association or COFA migrants)
Medicaid & CHIP coverage for lawfully residing children and pregnant women
In Pennsylvania lawfully residing children and pregnant women can enroll in Medicaid and CHIP without a five-year waiting period. A child or pregnant woman is "lawfully residing" if they’re "lawfully present" and otherwise eligible for Medicaid or CHIP in the Commonwealth. Learn how someone is defined as lawfully present.
Medicaid, CHIP, Pennie and ’Public Charge’:
On March 11, 2021, President Biden formally rescinded the ‘public charge’ rule, so it is not in effect. Applying for, and/or enrolling, in health coverage through Medicaid, CHIP, or Pennie will not make someone a ‘public charge’ or affect their ability to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or U.S. citizen in the future.
Remember: Pennie will only collect information about immigration status for the explicit purpose of determining eligibility for health coverage, and not for any other purpose.