Medicaid Eligibility – Immigrants

Medicaid Eligibility -“Immigrants, or non-U.S. citizens, who may qualify for Medicaid benefits upon their entry to this country.  “Qualified Immigrant” is as defined by the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services, the administrative body for Medicaid in Illinois as follows:

People who are not U.S. citizens but who fit into one of the following groups are qualified immigrants and may qualify for HFS medical benefits as soon as they enter the U.S.

  • A U.S. veteran honorably discharged or a person on active duty and the spouse and unmarried children of such a person
  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Persons for whom deportation has been withheld
  • Persons granted conditional entry to the U.S.
  • Nationals of Cuba or Haiti
  • Victims of human trafficking
  • Amerasians from Vietnam
  • Certain members of Hmong or Highland Laotian tribes
  • American Indians born in Canada
  • Certain victims of domestic violence
  • Certain Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants

Adults within the following groups of qualified immigrants may receive HFS Medical Benefits after they have resided in the U.S. legally for five years. The 5-year bar does not apply to children.

  • Persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Naturalization Act
  • Aliens granted parole for at least one year

Medicaid eligibility for immigrants is dependent on the definition of “Qualified Immigrant, ” and having appropriate documentation.


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