Apple Health for Kids Program: Responding to DSHS Requests for Immigration and Citizenship Documents

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If you have children who are applying for state-funded free or low cost health insurance through Washington State’s Apple Health for Kids program, the Health Care Authority (“HCA”) may ask you for documents about your child’s citizenship or immigration status. This publication explains what you should do. #5310EN

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If you have children who are applying for low-cost or free health insurance through Washington State’s Apple Health for Kids program, the Health Care Authority (“HCA”) may ask for documents showing your child’s citizenship or immigration status. Read on to find out what you should do.

Why does HCA need this information?

Washington State has both state and federally funded medical programs for children.  The state asks for immigration documents to determine if your child could be on the federal program.

How are the federal and state programs different?

The federal program covers children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, and most children who have applied for or been granted some form of legal immigration status.

The state program covers children who do not have an immigration status that makes them eligible for federal medical coverage. This includes children who are undocumented.  Some families on the state-funded program must pay a small monthly premium if their income is above a certain level.

What should I do?

You should submit copies (not originals!) of any documents showing your child’s immigration status in the U.S.  You must do this for your child to get medical coverage.

My child is a U.S. citizen.  What should I submit?

You can submit copies of the child’s birth certificate (if the child was born in the U.S.), certificate of naturalization or citizenship, or passport.

My child is a lawful permanent resident.  What should I submit?

You can submit a copy of the child’s “green card” or other immigration document showing they have lawful permanent residence.

What about other types of immigration status or applications?

You should submit copies of any document showing an immigration application has been filed or approved for your child. Some documents you can use include:

  • a notice of receipt

  • a copy of the I-94 card

  • a decision by an Immigration Judge

  • an approval notice

  • an employment authorization card

I listed my child as a dependent on my immigration application.  I do not have an approval notice in the child’s name.  What should I submit?

You must send a copy of the application listing the child as a dependent.

I have submitted these documents in the past.  HCA is asking for them again.  Do I have to submit them again?

Yes.  HCA may not have them for some reason, or there might have been a change in your child’s immigration status.

Is it safe?

Yes.  HCA will not share information you send about your child’s status with immigration authorities.  HCA can only use information you provide on medical applications to determine eligibility, not for other purposes. 

What if other family members do not have legal immigration status?

That is okay. HCA does not consider the immigration status of family members who are not applying for medical coverage, including the child’s parents. 

I do not have documentation for my child.  Can my child still get health coverage?

Yes. Your child can have health coverage through the state-funded program even if they do not have lawful immigration status. They must meet other eligibility requirements, such as income.

This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.
This information is current as of April 2019.

© 2019 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014

(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.)


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Last Review and Update: Apr 11, 2019
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