OAN’s Abril Elfi
9:12 AM – Saturday, December 30, 2023
Over hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants living in California will receive access to free health care in 2024.
All undocumented immigrants, regardless of age, will be eligible for Medi-Cal, which is California’s low-income version of the federal Medicaid program.
Before, undocumented immigrants could not obtain full health insurance, but they could obtain emergency and pregnancy-related services through Medi-Cal if they fulfilled certain eligibility requirements, such as living in California and earning a certain amount of money.
Undocumented children could enroll in Medi-Cal in 2015 thanks to a bill that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) at the time.
A law extending full-scope Medi-Cal eligibility for young adults 19 to 25 years of age, irrespective of citizenship or immigration status, was signed into law by now Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) in 2019.
Then, access was extended further, enabling older adults, regardless of immigration status, to receive full benefits at the age of fifty and beyond.
California State Senator María Elena Durazo estimates that the final expansion, which takes effect on January 1st, will make about 700,000 undocumented residents between the ages of 26 and 49 eligible for full coverage.
Newsom’s office stated that in California they believe that “everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage – regardless of income or immigration status.”
“Through this expansion, we’re making sure families and communities across California are healthier, stronger, and able to get the care they need when they need it,” they continued.
The California Health and Human Services have stated that they have committed $835.6 million in 2023 and 2024 and $2.6 billion annually thereafter to expand full-scope Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible adults, regardless of immigration status.
In 2019, when California had expanded the health coverage to include undocumented young adults, the-President Donald Trump criticized the move stating that it was “very unfair to [U.S.] citizens.”
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