Immigrants and Medicaid

Author: Wolfe Ossa lawCategories: Immigration, Medicaid

Court holds Immigrant can still collect Medicaid after leaving USA for 7 years

In February of 2018 an appeals court in New Jersey held that an immigrant returning to his home country for 7 years did not void his entitlement to the government assistance program, Medicaid.

K.K. the immigrant petitioner came to America in 1991 and eventually became a legalized permanent resident. In 2007 he returned to his native country for a period of 7 years before coming back to the US. One year after his return, he applied for Medicaid.

In order to collect from the Medical Assistance and Health Services Program (AKA Medicaid) you must meet the eligibility requirements laid out in the statute of the same name. N.J.S.A. 30:4D-3(q)(1)(a) lays out the requirements for “eligible aliens immigrants”.

The Panel of Judges held that it would be against public policy to penalize people for visiting their native country for a temporary period of time. On the basis that, if they’re out of the country, the US isn’t paying for their health care. And so, we don’t want to deter people from leaving, even temporarily.

What this means for you, is that if you or your parents are permanent residents of the United States, not only can you be eligible for Medicaid. But returning to your native country for a short time will not effect your eligibility.

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