Medicaid Coverage for Individuals Arriving Under the United for Ukraine Program, TPS, and Others
There are several types of health coverage options for Ukrainian nationals based on the legal pathways available for them to enter or reside in the United States. The U.S. Government divided the arriving individuals into three categories for purposes of Medicaid benefits:
- Parolees arriving under the United for Ukraine Program
- Those granted Temporary Protected Status (because they were already in the U.S. when the war started); and
Category 1: Parolees (Entering via United for Ukraine Progam)
Ukrainian individuals who have been granted humanitarian parole are eligible to apply for various federal benefits, including cash assistance through TANF, health insurance through Medicaid, and food assistance through SNAP.
For those arriving as parolees from Ukraine, the following Medicaid benefits are available:
- Ukrainian nationals who enter the United States as parolees on or between February 24, 2022 and September 30, 2023 are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP to the same extent as refugees, without a five-year waiting period, if they meet other eligibility requirements (e.g., income, state residency) for coverage in the state. These Ukrainian parolees are considered “qualified non-citizens” for purposes of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility since they are eligible for the same benefits as refugees.
- Ukrainian nationals who are paroled into the U.S. after September 30, 2023 and are the spouse or child of a parolee described above, or who is the parent, legal guardian, or primary caregiver of a parolee described above who is determined to be an unaccompanied child will also be eligible for Medicaid and CHIP to the same extent as refugees.
- Eligible parolees can also include individuals other than Ukrainian nationals (i.e., individuals who are stateless or have another nationality) who last habitually resided in Ukraine.
- Ukrainian parolees who are ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP are also eligible for
Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) for up to 12 months following the date of entry
to the same extent as refugees, if they meet the RMA income and eligibility
requirements.5,6 RMA benefits generally mirror Medicaid coverage and are administered through state Medicaid programs in nearly all states.
- Parolees who are not eligible for Medicaid, CHIP, or RMA (e.g., due to income) may be eligible for Marketplace coverage with financial assistance.
Category 2: Temporary Protected Status (TPS):
Ukrainian nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine) are eligible to apply for TPS.10 T
The TPS designation is effective April 19, 2022 and will remain in effect for 18 months, through October 19, 2023.
- Ukrainians granted TPS, and Ukrainians who have pending applications for TPS and who have been granted employment authorization are not considered “qualified non-citizens” for purposes of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, and thus are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, unless they are children and pregnant individuals in states that have adopted the “CHIPRA 214” option, as described below.
- Such individuals who are granted TPS, and individuals who have a pending application for TPS and have been granted employment authorization are both considered “lawfully present” and are eligible for Medicaid, and CHIP if they are: (1) either a child under age 21 (under age 19 for CHIP) or a pregnant individual; and (2) living in one of the 39 states and territories that have opted to cover lawfully present individuals under age 21 (under age 19 for CHIP) and/or pregnant individuals, including those otherwise subject to the five-year waiting period. This is commonly referred to as the CHIPRA 214 option.11
- Ukrainian parolees who are subsequently granted TPS remain eligible for RMA, if not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, to the same extent as refugees. Ukrainian nationals granted TPS who are not eligible for Medicaid, CHIP (e.g., due to not having a “qualified non-citizen” status) or RMA may be eligible for Marketplace coverage with financial assistance.
Category 3: Refugees
Some Ukrainian nationals may be granted refugee status and resettled into the United
Ukrainian nationals who are granted refugee status are eligible for full Medicaid or
CHIP benefits, without application of the five-year waiting period, if they otherwise meet all other eligibility requirements in the state.
- Ukrainian nationals granted refugee status, but who are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP due to other eligibility factors (such as income), may be eligible for RMA for up to 12 months following the date of entry, if they meet the RMA income and eligibility
requirements. RMA benefits generally mirror Medicaid coverage and are administered through state Medicaid programs in nearly all states.
- Ukrainian nationals granted refugee status who are not eligible for Medicaid, CHIP, or RMA (e.g., income is too high for these programs) may be eligible for Marketplace coverage with financial assistance.
Medicaid eligibility can change frequently, so it is important to regularly check the Medicaid website for updated information. Additionally, someone may be eligible for state-specific benefits, so it is also important to check with the state for information on available health coverage benefits. In many situations, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to determine your eligibility.