Beginning February 24, 2020, the new public charge rule used for immigrants entering the country or applying for permanent residency takes a close look at health insurance. But it does not penalize all immigrants for all kinds of coverage. For example, did you know that Medi-Cal is most often not counted? Medi-Cal does not negatively affect most immigrants for two reasons: (1) many immigrants are not subject to the public charge rule, and (2) the rule’s several exceptions exclude Medi-Cal for many immigrants. This Practice Tip sheet focuses on the second reason – all of the ways that the rule does not penalize applicants for receiving Medi-Cal and health insurance. Finally, it explains how having health insurance (including Covered California and some types of Medi-Cal) is better than being uninsured under the rule.