Medi-Cal coverage for ALL Californians
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, ALL Californians ages 26-49, can start filing for Medi-Cal benefits. With this final age category, it closes the eligibility gap for immigrants, meaning now ALL, which includes children, young adults, older adults and now ages 26 to 49 will be covered. ALL Californians regardless of immigration status and age, are eligible for Medi-Cal.
With this historic expansion, we expect an uninsured population decrease by 2.57 million under age 65. It’s been a long journey, but we conquered thanks to the tireless work by Health4All and their grassroots coalition, as well as Governor Gavin Newsom who understood the need for the full-scope Medi-Cal program.
Prior to this, the Health4All coalition had secured the inclusion of young children into Medi-Cal with Senator Lara in 2015, and in 2019, with my Senate Bill 29, we successfully achieved the inclusion of young adults up to the age of 26 to cover an estimated 260,000 Californians.
Most recently, in 2021-2022, with SB 56 Health4All Seniors, we achieved Medi-Cal for ALL Seniors. Up until recently, eligible undocumented parents or grandparents of this age bracket could take their child or grandchild to the doctor, but could not do the same for themselves, only emergency care, which is very costly and deters sick individuals from seeing a doctor when they need it.
Covering undocumented immigrants who are our parents, grandparents, and community members is essential to the continued strength of our economy and society. These are Californians that otherwise qualify for the program, making less than $17,000 a year, but are barred from this basic medical program due to their documentation status. The cost of doing nothing is far greater than the cost of providing coverage and allowing them preventative treatment.
Now more Californians will finally be able to access the health care they need and deserve, and our communities as a whole, will be more prosperous and healthier.
I am grateful to all who supported Medi-Cal for all Californians.