All undocumented immigrants in California offered health insurance

Health insurance - California coverage

This makes California the first state in the country to implement such a regulation.

California has become the first state in the country to offer health insurance to all undocumented immigrants.

The coverage is available as of January 1 and represents a first anywhere in the country.

Beginning this year, all undocumented immigrants in California will be able to qualify for Medi-Cal, which is the state’s version of the health insurance. This is true regardless of the age of the individual.

Health insurance - California qualified

Until last year, undocumented immigrants could not qualify to receive comprehensive coverage, but could enroll in Medi-Cal’s emergency and pregnancy-related coverage services. This could be accomplished as long as they met certain minimum eligibility requirements, such as being within certain income limits and having resided in California. That older regulation went into effect in 2014.

Undocumented children were also able to join Medi-Cal as of 2015 under a bill signed by the governor at the time, Jerry Brown. The law expanded further in 2019 when Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a Medi-Cal expansion for adults aged 19 through 25, allowing all residents coverage regardless of immigration status or citizenship. That access was broadened to include adults aged 50 years and up.

The new health insurance expansion started January 1 and adds coverage availability to 700,000 people.

The new expansion now includes undocumented residents between the ages of 26 years and 49 years, meaning that all undocumented residents are now eligible for full coverage, according to an announcement by California State Senator María Elena Durazo.

“This historic investment speaks to California’s commitment to health care as a human right,” said Durazo in a statement made last May.

“In California, we believe everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage – regardless of income or immigration status,” said a media comment from Governor Newsom’s office. “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.”

Approximately 50 percent of undocumented immigrant adults living in the United States have reported being uninsured. This new policy will mean that those in California will qualify for health insurance coverage.

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