Eligibility: Age and U.S Citizenship/Residency requirements

As a quick recap of the last post, to be eligible for the children’s CHIP/Medicaid program in Idaho a child or teen must meet requirements in three areas:

      • Age
      • Citizenship or Legal Residency Status
      • Income

In this post we’ll address age and U.S. Citizenship / Legal residency, along with the 5-year ban that applies to legal permanent residents.

Let’s talk about (1) Age…

First and foremost: to be eligible for the children’s CHIP/Medicaid program in Idaho, a child needs to be under the age of 19.

As long as they have not turned 19 yet, a child or teenager can apply for children’s CHIP/Medicaid coverage in Idaho. Once they have turned 19, they cannot apply for coverage under this program (they may be eligible for a different program though; if you have questions about programs for adults age 19+, call the Idaho CareLine at 2-1-1).  

(2) Citizenship or Residency Status

To be eligible for the children’s CHIP/Medicaid program in Idaho, a child needs to be either a U.S. Citizen, or a Legal Resident (you may have also seen the terms “legal permanent resident”, “lawful permanent resident”, or LPR).

Children who are U.S. citizens will need to provide their social security number on the application. Idaho DHW uses computer systems to cross-check this information with the national database and verify the child’s U.S. citizenship.

Children who are Legal Residents will need to provide a number called the “Alien I.D. Number” on their application; this number can be found on the child’s legal permanent resident card (sometimes this is also called an “entry card” or “green card”. It’s also a good idea to submit a copy of their card (both sides, front and back) with the application, because this card will provide a lot of information that Idaho DHW needs in order to verify if the child is in the country legally. Only children who are in the country legally are eligible to enroll and receive CHIP/Medicaid benefits.

Once Idaho DHW has determined that the child is a legal permanent resident, there is one more requirement that has to be met: what’s known as the “five-year ban”.

The 5-year ban for Legal Permanent Residents: 

In Idaho, children who are legal permanent residents have to be in the U.S. for five years before being eligible for Medicaid.

From: “The Link Between Medicaid and the Immigration Provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996″, by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Immigrants Admitted to the U.S. On or After August 22, 1996
There is a mandatory ban on Medicaid eligibility for immigrants who are “qualified aliens” newly admitted to the U.S. on or after August 22, 1996. The ban is in effect for the first five years they are in the U.S. in that status, unless the individual is a member of one of the excepted groups. 
(Source: FindLaw Library, http://library.findlaw.com/1996/Dec/19/127949.html)

In order to determine if a child has been in the U.S. for five years, Idaho DHW will look at their entry date.

      • If a child has been in the U.S. for less than five years, they will not be eligible for Idaho CHIP/Medicaid (this is the case even if they meet the age and income requirements).
      • If a child has been in the U.S. for five years or more, they will be eligible for CHIP/Medicaid provided they meet the other requirements.

Next we’ll cover income guidelines for Idaho’s CHIP/Medicaid program.

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