State lawmaker seeks to expand coverage to undocumented residents
Expanding health insurance coverage to undocumented immigrants in California is an initiative that is picking up steam. Senator Ricardo Lara has been a champion for this cause for some time, but expanding coverage to these people is not an easy achievement. Ensuring that undocumented residents can receive coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, may be an expensive and politically difficult situation to manage, but it has been growing in popularity among both lawmakers and consumers throughout the state.
Nearly a quarter of the undocumented population in the US lives in California
According to analysis from Pew Research, approximately 11 million people currently live in the United States illegally, with nearly a quarter of these people living in California. Undocumented residents are not eligible for state or federal insurance program, largely due to their immigration status, so they are heavily reliant on free health care clinics and other such services. A significant portion of these people also rely on emergency rooms to receive the care they need, but cannot afford the care they receive, which places the financial burden on the health care sector. Expanding coverage to undocumented residents may be an effective solution to this expensive issue.
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Proposal seeks to open Covered California to undocumented residents
Senator Lara has proposed measures to extend subsidized health insurance for undocumented residents living in California, but these measures will not receive legislative attention until next year. This month, however, state lawmakers are considering another proposal from Lara, which aims to receive permission from the federal government to allow any resident in California to purchase unsubsidized health insurance coverage through the state’s exchange. This particular proposal has received some support from other lawmakers in the state.
Undocumented residents may not be eligible for subsidies
Expanding the availability of health insurance coverage through the state’s exchange may be a boon for undocumented residents, as well as the health care system. Depending on how lawmakers support the proposal from Senator Lara, undocumented residents may soon gain access to Covered California, but they will not be able to receive subsidies for the coverage that they are interested in, which could limit their acquisition of the coverage that they need.