L.A. Care Health Plan applauds the Biden Administration’s final Public Charge Rule, which ended the previous administration’s efforts to limit eligibility for permanent residency. The Trump-era rule, which took effect in February of 2020, would penalize lawful immigrants for simply accessing essential services like Medicaid, SNAP food benefits, and housing assistance – benefits they had previously been able to access without any risk to future efforts to become a permanent resident. The Biden Administration has removed these restrictions.
L.A. Care was quick to denounce the Trump-era policy, issuing a public comment when it was first proposed in 2018. The health plan feared that legal immigrants would withdraw from much-needed services and even disenroll U.S.-born children out of fear. Such actions would naturally lead to increased use of emergency rooms due to delayed treatment and increased uncompensated care.
At the time, L.A. Care estimated that more than 170,000* of its members could be impacted by the Trump-era rule. L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for Los Angeles County's vulnerable and low-income communities and residents, and that threatened that effort. The health plan was grateful that a Federal District Court Judge blocked the Trump-era rule in November of 2020, but last month’s rule change by the Biden Administration will ensure fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants. The new rule, which takes effect on December 23, 2022, restores the historical understanding of a ‘public charge’ that had been in place for decades, before the misguided changes by the previous administration.
*Estimate based on publicly-available data. L.A. Care does not have access to members’ immigration status.
About L.A. Care Health Plan
L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.7 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly operated health plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Covered™, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's low-income communities, and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Penny Griego | Media Relations Specialist
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