© 2020 | Jefferson Public Radio
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Immigration

Oregon: Subsidized Health Insurance Won’t Trigger ‘Public Charge’ Label

medical-appointment-doctor-healthcare-40568.jpeg

A recent change in US immigration law has Oregon officials worried that confusion over what it means will lead legal immigrants to drop their subsidized health insurance. They're reassuring legal immigrants who have health insurance under Obamacare that their subsidized coverage won’t be held against them if they seek permanent residency.

Recent changes in immigration rules made by the Trump Administration mean that immigrants who receive food stamps or many other types of public assistance risk being deemed a “public charge” – that is, someone who’s dependent on government support. 

Leah Andrews is with the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which runs the state’s health insurance marketplace. She has a message for immigrants who have subsidized health coverage under Obamacare.

"The last thing we want is for the confusion over the public charge rule to mean that people step away from the coverage that they have, or that they just signed up for," she says.

The new public charge rule adds more types of benefits – including food stamps and Section 8 rental assistance -- that could be used to deny legal immigrants who use them a permanent residency permit, or “green card.” 

Oregon officials want to make it clear that Obamacare subsidies do not count under the public charge rule.