DHS’ Final Rule: Impact of Public Charge on Health Care and Benefits

Executive Summary

On August 12, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a final rule redefining the term “public charge.” The rule made fundamental changes to the longstanding application of public charge to the receipt of public benefits for certain immigrants. On January 27, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the nationwide preliminary injunctions that had prevented the Trump Administration from implementing the rule. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security announced that its public charge rule will go into effect on February 24, 2020.

The purpose of this issue brief is to provide background information about public charge with a focus on the impact of the final rule in the health care context. (Updated Feb. 23, 2020)

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