Hawaii to maintain migrant health care benefits - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii to maintain migrant health care benefits

HONOLULU (AP) - The state Department of Human Services says Gov. Neil Abercrombie has approved temporary emergency rules that will allow non-citizens to receive state-funded medical benefits in Hawaii.

The department said Thursday the rules will be in effect for 120 days.

The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state may reduce health care coverage for noncitizens.

The court upheld a federal appeals court ruling saying Hawaii isn't required to fund Medicaid for migrants from three Pacific Island nations in Micronesia to make up for reduced federal funding.

The ruling said Hawaii has no constitutional obligation to fill a gap left in 1996 when Congress cut health care funding for migrants under the Compact of Free Association.

The department has drafted proposed rules to replace the temporary emergency rules.

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