II. Medicaid for Undocumented Immigrants with PRUCOL Status

Medicaid for Undocumented Immigrants with PRUCOL Status

Download a PDF version of our PRUCOL fact sheet here.

Most undocumented immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid. However, in various states around the country, some undocumented immigrants may be eligible for full Medicaid coverage if they meet the conditions for PRUCOL status.

PRUCOL persons are undocumented immigrants who are “Permanently Residing Under Color oLaw.” PRUCOL is not an immigration status or a path to citizenship; rather, it is a public benefits eligibility category through which certain undocumented immigrants can apply for Medicaid.

New York is one such state that provides full Medicaid coverage to PRUCOL-eligible persons. In 1997, the state of New York implemented federal welfare reform that restricted Medicaid eligibility for lawfully-residing undocumented immigrants for Medicaid eligibility. These restrictions were challenged in Aliessa v. Novello, a landmark case which held that those federal regulations violated the New York State constitutional guarantees of equal protection and care of the needy.

Who is Eligible?

  • Parolees admitted into the U.S for less than a year
  • Persons residing in the U.S. under an Order of Supervision
  • Persons who have been granted an indefinite stay of deportation for humanitarian reasons
  • Persons who were granted an indefinite voluntary departure (a status granted before 1996)
  • Persons on whose behalf an immediate relative petition (I-130) has been approved
  • Persons who have submitted “properly filed” applications for legal permanent resident status
  • Persons granted stays of deportation for humanitarian reasons
  • Persons granted deferred action status (DREAM Act-eligible youth can apply for this status)
  • Persons who entered and have continuously resided in the U.S. since before January 1st, 1972
  • Non-citizens who have been found to be deportable, but who have met a period of continuous residence and have filed for and been granted suspension of deportation
  • Other persons living in the United States with the knowledge and permission or acquiescence of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and whose departure the USCIS does not contemplate enforcing. Examples include but are not limited to the following:
    • Permanent non-immigrants pursuant to Public Law 99-239 (applicable to Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands)
    • Applicants for adjustment of status, asylum, suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal, or deferred action
    • Persons granted extended voluntary departure, or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), for a specified time due to conditions in their home country
    • Persons granted Temporary Protected Status
    • Persons having a K, V, S, or U visa.

How Do I Apply? 

To receive Medicaid under PRUCOL in New York, you must meet the Medicaid income and residency requirements and one of the above eligibility conditions. Other states may have different requirements. Go to your local Medicaid office to learn more and apply.

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