Immigrants

Can immigrants enroll in Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage?

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Most lawfully present immigrants who meet Medicaid and CHIP program requirements, such as income and state residency, can enroll in Medicaid or CHIP after they have been in the United States with qualified status for 5 years or more.  A list of “qualified statuses” can be found here.

Some groups of lawfully present immigrants do not have to wait five years before they may enroll in Medicaid and CHIP. These include refugees, asylees, and other humanitarian immigrants; veterans and military families; and pregnant women and children in some states.

Some lawfully present immigrants who are authorized to work in the United States cannot enroll in Medicaid, even if they have been in the country for five or more years.

Undocumented immigrants may not enroll in Medicaid or CHIP coverage.

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.