California will offer medical insurance to all undocumented immigrants – The Hill

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Story at a look

  • California will offer state-subsidized medical insurance to all undocumented immigrants starting 2024. 
  • The state recently began expanding its Medi-Cal program, offering state-subsidized medical insurance to those younger than 26 and over the age of fifty. 
  • The expansion is anticipated to cover an extra 700,000 undocumented Californians. 

California will turn into the primary state to supply all undocumented immigrants, no matter age, state-subsidized medical insurance. It’s expected to take effect in 2024 and it would make California the primary state to attain universal access to health coverage.  

The historic move was a part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) 2022-23 state budget allocation, which incorporates expanding the state’s Medi-Cal program. That gives state-funded medical insurance to eligible residents and can now cover an extra 700,000 undocumented residents ages 26-49 starting no later than Jan. 1, 2024.  

Medi-Cal already offers coverage to undocumented immigrants in the event that they are younger than 26, over the age of fifty or a recipient of the federal Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  

The expansion of Medi-Cal is anticipated to guide to the biggest drop in the speed of uninsured Californians in a decade. Undocumented Californians make up the biggest group of the state’s uninsured, with the University of California Berkley’s Labor Center projecting nearly 1.3 million individuals under the age of 65 are uninsured in 2022 alone.  

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State Sen. María Elena Durazo (D) hailed the expansion of Medi-Cal as a budget victory and said in a press release that the state is “one step closer to ending the outdated and discriminatory policy that stops undocumented Californians from accessing inexpensive health care.”

“This can be a victory for the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Californians who contribute $3.7 billion in state and native taxes and over $40 billion in spending power to our economy ever 12 months.”  

In accordance with an estimate by California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), expanding Medi-Cal to eligible undocumented immigrants will cost $2.1 billion on an ongoing basis. 

Though California will turn into the primary state to supply medical insurance coverage to just about all undocumented immigrants residing within the state, other states have also made similar moves. 

In 2020, Illinois prolonged its state-funded health care to low-income individuals 65 years old and older who’re undocumented. The state has also proposed laws that will provide state-subsidized medical insurance to undocumented immigrants who’re 19 to 54 years old and living at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty line.  

Oregon has also proposed the Cover All People Act that will expand its state-sponsored medical insurance to all adults who would qualify for Medicaid if it weren’t for his or her immigration status. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KKF) found that noncitizen immigrants are as likely as residents to work but are significantly more prone to be uninsured because of limited access in each private and non-private coverage.  

Published on Jun. 29, 2022

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