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Protecting the Health of our Nation’s Essential Workers: Congress Must Lift the “Five-Year Bar” on Medicaid and CHIP

By Bailey Reavis,


As Congress continues to address the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that they take immediate action to address a longstanding, unnecessary gap in health coverage by lifting the five-year bar that blocks lawfully present immigrant families from accessing insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Congress must lift the five-year bar because:

  • Public health and safety depend on comprehensive, community-wide health coverage.
  • Coverage gaps create ripple effects on the entire health system.
  • Particularly in light of COVID-19, the five-year bar is outdated and does not align with current health care or immigration systems.
  • Eligible families deserve access to programs their tax dollars pay for.

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