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Immigrants in North Carolina and Access to Health Care
North Carolina Health Insurance Eligibility for Immigrants (2016), produced by Legal Services of Southern Piedmont and the North Carolina Justice Center, outlines immigrant eligibility for Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act and describes common issues facing immigrants applying for health insurance programs.
“Immigrants in North Carolina and the Affordable Care Act” outlines which categories of immigrants are eligible to apply for insurance coverage and financial help under the new Affordable Care Act. It also provides information on the ACA relevant to immigrant families, such as whether assistance is available in foreign languages, what documentation is acceptable in applying for insurance coverage, and whether an application for insurance coverage will affect your current immigration status or future applications for immigration status. Click here to view.
“Inmigrantes en Carolina del Norte y La Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio” (2014) destaca cuáles categorías de inmigrantes son elegibles para solicitar cobertura médica y ayuda financiera bajo la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (“ACA” por sus siglas en inglés). También provee información sobre la relevancia de la ACA a familias inmigrantes, por ejemplo si ayuda está disponible en otros lenguajes, qué tipos de documentación son aceptables con una solicitud para la cobertura médica, y si solicitar cobertura médica podría tener efecto en su estatus migratorio. Haga clic aquí para leer el volante.
“Questions and Answers: H-2A Workers, Taxes, and the Affordable Care Act” (2015) gives information specific to H-2A temporary farmworkers, and discusses their rights and responsibilities to enroll in health coverage and pay taxes. Click here to view.
Immigration Detention in NC: An Update for Know-Your-Rights Trainers
This on-demand webinar covers the latest information about immigration detention in North Carolina for your KYR presentations, including: how to locate a family member in detention, ICE holds, immigration bonds, signing for voluntary departure, and rights during an ICE interview. (You will need QuickTime Player to view the webinar. Click here to download QuickTime for free.)
Click here to view the webinar.
Click here to give us feedback and tell us what other resources you need.
Picked Up: A Guide for Immigrants Detained in North Carolina
This handbook is for immigrants who have been detained in North Carolina as well as their friends and family members. It contains important information that we hope will help you and your family make informed decisions for yourselves. It is available in both English and Spanish.
Picked Up (Engish)
Picked Up (Spanish)
2010 Changes in Eligibility for Immigrants Applying for Medicaid
Until 2010, some lawful immigrants in North Carolina were either ineligible to apply for health insurance coverage under Medicaid (e.g. Temporary Protected Status or U visa holders), or subject to a “five-year bar” which prevented those lawful immigrants from applying for Medicaid during the first five years of their lawful residence (e.g. Legal Permanent Residents, VAWA/ battered immigrants). Changes made to federal and state law in 2010 now allow lawfully-residing pregnant women and minor children (under age 19) to apply for coverage under Medicaid, regardless of how long they have had legal status.
What categories of immigrants may apply for Medicaid?
The following categories of immigrants are still eligible for full Medicaid:
- Legal permanent residents (LPRs) who have had LPR status for five years or more ;[*]
- Note: If the legal permanent residents are veterans or active duty military personnel or their wives, surviving spouses and children, no five-year waiting period applies
- Note: if the legal permanent residents obtained their status through one of the “humanitarian immigrant” categories listed in the bullet point below, no five-year waiting period applies.
- Humanitarian immigrants: refugees, asylees, victims of trafficking, Cuban/Haitian entrants, and persons granted withholding of deportation (who have had their status for any length of time)
- “VAWA” applicants with a prima facie determination of eligibility or approved petitions – persons who have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse; or whose children have been battered by their U.S. citizen or LPR spouse (who have had such status for five years or more)
- Several other less common categories such as immigrant foster children, parolees, etc.
As of 2010, all lawfully-present immigrants** are eligible for full Medicaid, with no five-year waiting period, if they are pregnant women or children under the age of 19. This includes, but is not limited to the following groups:
- Legal permanent residents
- VAWA prima facie determination or approved petitions
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Deferred Enforced Departure
- Spouses or children of U.S. citizens whose visa petitions are approved and who have pending applications for adjustment of status
- “U” visa holders (victims of crime)
- “T” visa holders (victims of trafficking)
- Short-term visa holders (student visas, work visas, etc.)
- And many more…
The above lists are not exclusive. Please encourage pregnant immigrant women and children (under age 19) to apply for Medicaid if they are lawfully residing and meet income and residency requirements.
This material is for information and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For further information regarding your specific situation, please contact the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, North Carolina Justice Center at 919-861-2072.
[*] Eligibility can depend on date of entry into U.S. For general questions about immigrant eligibility for benefits, contact the NC Justice Center.
[**] The only immigrants who are children under 19 or pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid under this 2010 provision are DACA holders (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and undocumented immigrants.