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

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded
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5310EN - 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.

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Introduction

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.

Why does HCA need this information?

In Washington State, there are both state and federally funded medical programs for children. The state asks for immigration documents to try to determine whether your child could be on the federal program. 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. For families with income above 200% of the federal poverty level, the monthly premium payment is higher if a child is undocumented.

What should I do?

You should submit copies (not originals!) of any documents that show your child's immigration status in the U.S. This way, you will help ensure that your child keeps medical coverage.

If your child is a U.S. citizen, you can turn in copies of the child's birth certificate (if the child was born in the U.S.), certificate of naturalization or citizenship, or passport. If your child is a lawful permanent resident, you can send in a copy of his/her "green card" or other immigration document showing that they have lawful permanent residence. For other types of immigration status or applications, you should hand in copies of any document showing that an immigration application has been filed or approved for your child. Some documents you can use:

  • a notice of receipt

  • a copy of the I-94 card

  • a decision by an Immigration Judge

  • an approval notice

  • an employment authorization card

If the child is a dependent on an immigration application filed by a parent and you do not have an approval notice in the child's name, you will need to send a copy of the application listing the child as a dependent.

You should submit these documents even if you already submitted documents in the past. 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 has indicated it will not share the information you send about your child's status with immigration authorities.

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

That is okay. Eligibility for both the federal and state funded medical programs for children depends only on the child's immigration status. The immigration status of other family members, including the child's parents, is not considered.

I do not have documentation for my child. Does this mean s/he is no longer covered?

No. Even if your child does not have immigration status, s/he will still have health coverage through the state-funded program.

What if I need legal help?

CLEAR is Washington's toll-free, centralized intake, advice and referral service for low-income people seeking free legal assistance with civil legal problems. 

  • Outside King County: Call 1-888-201-1014 weekdays from 9:10 a.m. until 12:25 p.m. CLEAR works with a language line to provide interpreters as needed at no cost to callers. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please call 1-888-201-1014 using your preferred TTY or Video relay service.

  • King County: Call 211 for information and referral to an appropriate legal services provider Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. You may also call (206) 461-3200, or the toll-free number, which may be useful when calling from a pay phone, 1-877-211-WASH (9274). 211 works with a language line to provide interpreters as needed at no cost to callers. Deaf and hearing-impaired callers can call 1-800-833-6384 or 711 to talk to a relay operator at no cost, who will then connect them with 211. You can also get information on legal service providers in King County through 211's website at www.resourcehouse.com/win211/.

  • Persons 60 and Over: Persons 60 or over may call CLEAR*Sr at 1-888-387-7111, regardless of income.

 

5310EN


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 February 2013.

© 2013 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.)

Last Review and Update: May 29, 2015
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