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Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Public Health Insurance

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Posted: 29 Jan, 2010
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Updated: 07 Jun, 2022
by Valerie Bogart (New York Legal Assistance Group)

Haitian individuals and immigrants from some other countries who have applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may be eligible for public health insurance in New York State. 

What is Temporary Protected Status?
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible individuals of a certain country designated by the Department of Homeland Security because serious temporary conditions in that country, such as armed conflict or environmental disaster, prevents people from that country to return safely. On January 21, 2010 the United States determined that individuals from Haiti warranted TPS because of the devastating earthquake that occurred there on January 12. TPS gives undocumented Haitian residents, who were living in the U.S. on January 12, 2010, protection from forcible deportation and allows them to work legally. It is important to note that the U.S. grants TPS to individuals from other countries, as well - 
  • See List of Recent TPS Designations & Extensions - which include UKRAINE (for 18 months from April 19, 2022, through Oct. 19, 2023) and  AFGHANISTAN (18 months from May 20, 2022, through Nov. 20, 2023, SUDAN, SOUTH SUDAN, and CAMEROON, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua (and more --  see list on webpage  of the NYC Office of Immigration Affairs.) 

  • The Trump Administration took steps to end TPS, which were barred by court injunctions.   See above links.

TPS and Public Health Insurance
TPS applicants residing in New York are eligible for Medicaid  as long as they also meet the income requirements for these programs. In New York, applicants for TPS are considered PRUCOL immigrants (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) for purposes of medical assistance eligibility and thus meet the immigration status requirements for Medicaid and the Family Planning Benefit Program. Nearly all children in New York remain eligible for Child Health Plus including TPS applicants and children who lack immigration status.  For more information on immigrant eligibility for public health insurance in New York see 08 GIS MA/009 and the attached chart.
Where to Apply
Individuals may apply for public health insurance with facilitated enrollers at community-based organizations or health plans, at HRA Medicaid offices in New York City, Social Services offices outside of New York City, public hospitals, and Department of Health Clinics. For a list of enrollers in New York City visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hia/html/public_insurance/enroll.shtml. For enrollers outside of NYC go to: http://www.health.state.ny.us/health_care/medicaid/ldss.htm
What to Bring
Individuals who have applied for TPS will need to bring several documents to prove their eligibility for public health insurance. Individuals will need to bring:
1)      Proof of identity;
2)      Proof of residence in New York;
3)      Proof of income;
4)      Proof of application for TPS;
5)      Proof that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received the application for TPS.
Free Communication Assistance
All applicants for public health insurance, including Haitian Creole speakers, have a right to get help in a language they can understand. All Medicaid offices and enrollers are required to offer free translation and interpretation services to anyone who cannot communicate effectively in English. A bilingual worker or an interpreter, whether in-person or over the telephone, must be provided in all interactions with the office. Important documents, such as Medicaid applications, should be translated either orally or in writing. Interpreter services must be offered free of charge, and applicants requiring interpreter services must not be made to wait unreasonably longer than English speaking applicants. An applicant must never be asked to bring their own interpreter.
Related Resources on TPS and Public Health Insurance
o        The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) has compiled a list of agencies, law firms, and law schools responding to the tragedy in Haiti and the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status.  A copy of the list is posted at the NYIC’s website at http://www.thenyic.org
o          USCIS  TPS website with links to status in all countries, including HAITI.

o        For information on eligibility for public health insurance programs call The Legal Aid Society’s  Benefits Hotline   1-888-663-6880  Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays:  9:30 am - 12:30 pm

FOR IMMIGRATION HELP:  CONTACT THE  New York State New Americans Hotline for a referral to an organization to advise you.    212-419-3737  

      Monday-Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Or call toll-free in New York State at 1-800-566-7636

o        For information on immigrants’ eligibility for public health insurance programs, consult the Immigrant Guide to Publicly Funded Health Care Benefits by Barbara Weiner: 

Please see these fact sheets and web sites of national organizations for more information about the new PUBLIC CHARGE  rules:

Printable Fact Sheets for Distribution
Click here for a printable flyer in English
Click here for a printable flyer in Creole
Click here for a printable flyer in French

This article was co-authored by the New York Immigration Coalition, Empire Justice Center and the Health Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society. 1/29/10, updated 3/1/10, updated 8/15/19 by NY Legal Assistance Group


Attached files
item TPS and assurance maladie publique 3_1_10.pdf (58 kb) Download
item TPS and Public Health Insurance Creole 3_1_10.pdf (72 kb) Download
item TPS and Public Health Insurance Final 3_1_10.pdf (51 kb) Download

Also read
item Immigrant Eligibility for Medicaid & other Public Benefits - 2024 Update for Undocumented Immigrants Age 65+
item Emergency Medicaid in New York State - Limited Medicaid Coverage for Undocumented Immigrants & Changes for Age 65+
item Empire Justice Center Reports on Immigrant Access to Health Care in NY's Health Insurance Exchange

Also listed in
folder Immigrant Access
folder Medicaid -> Immigrant Access

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