Nearly 250,000 undocumented immigrants will soon be eligible for low-cost health care funded by the state government, under a plan that is now awaiting the governor’s signature.
The state budget passed by the Legislature this week expands Medi-Cal coverage for income-eligible people aged 50 and older regardless of their immigration status. It gives California the most expansive coverage in the U.S. for people without legal status.
Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the state budget by Thursday. The new health coverage would begin in May 2022.
“This is about treating everyone equally and fairly, and I think it will benefit everyone,” said Sarah Dar of the California Immigrant Policy Center.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how the health of your neighbors and co-workers can directly impact your own health, she said. “Health care for one person is improving the health care outcomes for everybody.”
The expansion is the latest push by state Democrats to offer public health care options for all Californians. Nearly 200,000 undocumented children and young adults already have health coverage through Medi-Cal.