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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Information on Refugee Health Services

Contact the Refugee Health Program

  • 850-245-4310
  • Fax

    850-413-9092
  • Mailing Address

    Refugee Health Program

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A-13

    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1721

Resettling in a new country and adapting to a new culture and lifestyle can be a very stressful experience. There are many things to learn and become accustomed to, in addition to the services and paperwork required to complete your resettlement process. This page is intended to help you become better acquainted with the health services available to you in Florida and provide helpful resources about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Helpful Resources
Health Care Guide for Florida’s Refugees – Available in the following languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Creole
  • Burmese

Healthy Services and Healthy Living in Florida

USCRI Healthy Living Toolkit - Available in Multiple Languages 

Civil Surgeon Locator

Refugee Services
If you recently resettled in the United States, there are several time-limited services available to assist you during your transition period. These services are designed to help you receive proper medical screening and care, gain financial independence, and learn the culture of the United States. The services and length of time they are available are based on your immigration status and date of arrival or status. This information is provided to ensure that you are aware of the services available to you. Click on your immigration status below to learn about services available to you.

Refugees

If you are designated as a refugee, your eligibility for services begins on the date of your arrival. The information below details the services you may be eligible to receive.

Health Services
Upon arrival, you are eligible for eight months of Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). Medicaid and RMA are free insurance programs designed to assist you with any medical problems you may have. If your spouse or children enter the United States with refugee status after your arrival, their eight months of eligibility begins when they arrive.. You must apply for Medicaid online in order to receive the service. It may take time for your application to be processed and to receive your Medicaid card.

While you are waiting for your Medicaid eligibility to be processed, you are eligible to receive a free health assessment at your local county health department within 90 days from your date of arrival. They will test your blood and stool samples to determine if you have any medical problems. They will also provide immunizations which are required for adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident status. If a medical problem is identified during your assessment, they will refer you for additional medical care. Your medical care will be paid by Medicaid or RMA for eight months from your date of arrival. After eight months, you will need to reapply for Medicaid and meet the eligibility criteria to receive those benefits again. 

Agency Assistance
Voluntary agencies funded primarily by the Department of State assist those with refugee status. If you are associated with a voluntary agency, they will provide you with services for a minimum of 30 days from your date of arrival. The agency may assist you with learning the English language, public transportation, finding employment, and provide education about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Cash Assistance
You may be eligible to receive cash assistance for a short timeframe from your date of arrival.

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Asylees

If you are an asylee, your eligibility for refugee services begins on the date you were granted asylum. The information below details the services you may be eligible to receive. 

Health Services
Upon being granted asylum, you are eligible for eight months of Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). Medicaid and RMA are free insurance programs designed to assist you with any medical problems you may have. Your spouse and children are also eligible if they received asylum with you. If your family members receive asylum status after you are granted asylum, their eight months of eligibility begins when they arrive in the United States or the date their Form I-730 petition is approved if they are already in the United States. You must apply for Medicaid online in order to receive the service. It may take time for your application to be processed and to receive your Medicaid card.

While you are waiting for your Medicaid eligibility to be processed, you are eligible to receive a free health assessment at your local county health department within 90 days from the date you were granted asylum. They will test your blood and stool samples to determine if you have any medical problems. They will also provide immunizations which are required if you choose to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident status. If a medical problem is identified during your assessment, they will refer you for additional medical care. Your medical care will be paid by Medicaid or RMA for eight months from the date you were granted asylum. After eight months, you will need to reapply for Medicaid and meet the eligibility criteria to receive those benefits again. If your family members arrived later, their dates of eligibility begin on the date they actually arrived in the United States or the date their status was approved if they were already in the United States but not included in your application.

Agency Assistance
Other agencies may assist you with learning the English language, public transportation, finding employment, and provide education about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about these providers, visit the Office of Refugee Services website under the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Cash Assistance
You may be eligible to receive cash assistance for a short timeframe from the date you were granted asylum.

For additional information on asylee benefits and information, please visit the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s asylee information website.  You may also view Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.’s Asylee Eligibility for Refugee Assistance Guide*. 

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Cuban/Haitian Entrants

You are designated as a Cuban/Haitian Entrant if you have Cuban or Haitian nationality and apply for asylum, are placed in removal proceedings, or receive parole status. Your eligibility begins on the date you first become a Cuban/Haitian entrant. The information below details the services you may be eligible to receive.

Health Services
Upon receiving parole, applying for asylum, or being placed in removal, you are eligible for eight months of Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). Medicaid and RMA are free insurance programs designed to assist you with any medical problems you may have. If you receive parole or are placed in removal on the date you arrive in the United States, your period of eligibility begins when you arrive. If you receive parole or are placed in removal later, your eligibility begins when you receive your status. If you become eligible because you applied for asylum, your eligibility begins on the date your asylum application is filed. (Family members who are not Cuban or Haitian nationals are never Cuban/Haitian Entrants and are ineligible for refugee services even if they have the same immigration status.) You must apply for Medicaid online in order to receive the service. It may take time for your application to be processed and to receive your Medicaid card. 

While you are waiting for your Medicaid eligibility to be processed, you are eligible to receive a free health assessment at your local county health department within 90 days from your date of arrival. They will test your blood and stool samples to determine if you have any medical problems. They will also provide immunizations which are required for adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident status. If a medical problem is identified during your assessment, they will refer you for additional medical care. Your medical care will be paid by Medicaid or RMA for eight months from your date of arrival. After eight months, you will need to reapply for Medicaid and meet the eligibility criteria to receive those benefits again. 

Agency Assistance
Other agencies may assist you with learning the English language, public transportation, finding employment, and provide education about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about these providers, visit the Office of Refugee Services website under the Florida Department of Children and Families. 

Cash Assistance
You may be eligible to receive cash assistance for a short timeframe from your date of arrival or status.

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Victims of Trafficking

If you are a Victim of Trafficking (VOT), your eligibility for services begins on the date the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) certified your eligibility (or recognized your eligibility if you are under 18 years of age). Your letter from ORR gives your certificate date (or eligibility date, if under 18 years of age). If family members receive T-2 or T-3 visas, their eligibility starts when they arrive. The information below details the services you may be eligible to receive. 

Health Services
Upon becoming certified as a VOT, you are eligible for eight months of Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). Medicaid and RMA are free insurance programs designed to assist you with any medical problems you may have. Family members with T-2 or T-3 visa status begin their eight months of eligibility when they arrive in the United States. You must apply for Medicaid online in order to receive the service. It may take time for your application to be processed and to receive your Medicaid card. 

While you are waiting for your Medicaid eligibility to be processed, you are eligible to receive a free health assessment at your local county health department within 90 days from your date of certification. They will test your blood and stool samples to determine if you have any medical problems. They will also provide immunizations which are required for adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident status. If a medical problem is identified during your assessment, they will refer you for additional medical care. Your medical care will be paid by Medicaid or RMA for eight months from your certification. After eight months, you will need to reapply for Medicaid and meet the eligibility criteria to receive those benefits again. 

Agency Assistance
Other agencies may assist you with learning the English language, public transportation, finding employment, and provide education about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about these providers, visit the Office of Refugee Services website under the Florida Department of Children and Families. 

Cash Assistance
You may be eligible to receive cash assistance for a short timeframe from the date ORR recognized you as a VOT. Your family members’ eligibility begins on the date they arrived in the United States with a T-1 or T-2 visa.

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Amerasians

If you are designated as an Amerasian, your eligibility for services begins on your date of arrival. The information below details the services you may be eligible to receive.

Health Services
Upon arrival, you are eligible for eight months of Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). Medicaid and RMA are free insurance programs designed to assist you with any medical problems you may have. If your spouse or children with Amerasian status arrive in the United States after you, their eight months of eligibility starts when they arrive. You must apply for Medicaid online in order to receive the service. It may take time for your application to be processed and to receive your Medicaid card. 

While you are waiting for your Medicaid eligibility to be processed, you are eligible to receive a free health assessment at your local county health department within 90 days from your date of arrival. They will test your blood and stool samples to determine if you have any medical problems. If a medical problem is identified during your assessment, they will refer you for additional medical care. Your medical care will be paid by Medicaid or RMA for eight months from your date of arrival. After eight months, you will need to reapply for Medicaid and meet the eligibility criteria to receive those benefits again. 

Agency Assistance
Voluntary agencies funded by the Department of State assist individuals with Amerasian status. If you are associated with a voluntary agency, they will provide you with services for a minimum of 30 days from your date of arrival. The agency may assist you with learning the English language, public transportation, finding employment, and provide education about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

Cash Assistance
You may be eligible to receive cash assistance for a short timeframe from your date of arrival.

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Special Immigrants of Iraqi or Afghan Nationality

If you are an Iraqi or Afghan national and come to the United States with a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), your eligibility for services begins when you arrive in the United States. If you are already in the United States at the time your visa as a Special Immigrant is approved, your eligibility begins when your status is approved.  The information below details the services you may be eligible to receive.

Health Services
Upon arrival or when your status is approved, you are eligible for eight eight months of Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA). Medicaid and RMA are free insurance programs designed to assist you with any medical problems you may have. If your spouse or children follow you to the United States with a Special Immigrant Visa and are also Iraqi or Afghan nationals, their eight months of eligibility begins when they arrive.  You must apply for Medicaid online in order to receive the service. It may take time for your application to be processed and to receive your Medicaid card. 

While you are waiting for your Medicaid eligibility to be processed, you are eligible to receive a free health assessment at your local county health department within 90 days from your date of arrival. They will test your blood and stool samples to determine if you have any medical problems. If a medical problem is identified during your assessment, they will refer you for additional medical care. Your medical care will be paid by Medicaid or RMA for up to 8 months after you arrive. Under current laws, you will no longer be eligible after 8 months. 

Agency Assistance
Voluntary agencies funded by the Department of State may assist Iraqi or Afghan nationals who receive Special Immigrant Visas. If you are associated with a voluntary agency, they will provide you with services for a minimum of 30 days after you arrive. Other agencies may also assist you for up to eight months after your arrival with learning the English language, public transportation, finding employment, and provide education about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about these providers, visit the Office of Refugee Services website under the Florida Department of Children and Families. 

Cash Assistance
You may be eligible to receive cash assistance for a short timeframe from your date of arrival.

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*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.