Immigrant Health and Changes to the Public-Charge Rule: Family Physicians' Response

Cynthia Haq, Isaure Hostetter, Laura Zavala, José Mayorga
Annals of Family Medicine 2020, 18 (5): 458-460
As the US federal government pursues immigration reform, changes to the federal public-charge rule have triggered confusion and concerns among patients who are immigrants. Although federal judges temporarily blocked implementation, a decision by the Supreme Court in January 2020 allowed the proposed changes to take effect. These policy changes have resulted in many legal immigrants and their family members becoming more reluctant to apply for health insurance, food, housing, and other benefits for which they are qualified. This article summarizes the changes and exclusions. Family physicians can effectively respond to patient and immigrant community concerns about these changes by providing outreach education, access to primary health care, and referrals to legal and social services.

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