FILE - Medicaid, Chip

(The Center Square) – A budget amendment to broaden the Medicaid eligibility for legal immigrants could cost the state more than $4 million.

In an amendment effective this month, the state has ended a policy that required legal permanent residents to have 10 years of work history before they can be eligible for Medicaid benefits. The change will affect thousands of immigrants residing in the state.

The budget amendment includes $4.4 million in state funds to account for new Medicaid recipients. It will also draw in more than $16 million in federal funds.

Virginia was one of six states with similar requirements. The other five states that have these requirements are Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming.

The change will not affect immigrants who are in the state illegally.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.