NewsMedi-Cal expansion allows more adults to access healthcare

Medi-Cal expansion allows more adults to access healthcare

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California has achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first state to extend public health insurance to cover undocumented immigrants of all ages. On New Year’s Day, California expanded its Medi-Cal health insurance program to encompass all undocumented immigrants, irrespective of their age.

Humboldt County District 1 Supervisor Rex Bohn highlighted the potential benefits of this expansion, noting that providing medical care to individuals with immigration status can prevent their healthcare needs from escalating, potentially saving costs in the long run.

California’s groundbreaking move allows all immigrants, regardless of their status or age, to qualify for healthcare, setting a precedent for the rest of the country. A newly enacted law enables adults aged 26 to 49 to qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal. This expansion follows earlier initiatives that allowed undocumented children to join in 2015, individuals under 26 in 2020, and those aged 50 and over in May 2023.

The ‘Ages 26 through 49 Adult-Expansion’ mirrors the young adult expansion, providing full-scope benefits to Medi-Cal recipients. This includes access to medical, dental, vision, mental health, family planning, contraception services, and substance treatment services. Previously, these services were unavailable to certain non-US citizens aged 26 to 49, impacting their overall quality of life.

The importance of bilingual personnel, information, and creating a welcoming environment for patients were emphasized by the Executive Director of the non-profit Centro Del Pueblo. This expansion is seen as a crucial step towards addressing healthcare disparities and improving the well-being of undocumented immigrants who previously faced challenges accessing essential services.

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