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California May Extend Health Coverage to Illegal Immigrant Children

The California Senate recently approved a bill that would provide California health coverage for illegal immigrant children. This will make California the first state in the United States to provide health care coverage to kids who are in the country illegally, which means that they are requesting federal authorization to be able to sell private insurance to immigrants without requiring documentation.



There are between 195,000 and 240,000 children under the age of 19 from low-income families that would be able to benefit from state-funded Medi-Cal, which is the state’s version of Medicaid, even if they are illegal immigrants. The legislation will also seek a federal waiver that would allow the state to sell unsubsidized private health care insurance through Covered California, which is California’s health exchange. Now that the legislation has been approved by the State Senate, the bill only needs to be passed and signed by the Governor in order to go into effect. 

While many Senators believe that this is an important step in helping to expand access to health care throughout the state, some believe that the bill will amount to nothing more than an empty promise, believing that it won’t actually help illegal immigrants to obtain access to doctors since there already is a shortage of providers that accept Medi-Cal.

Although President Obama recently enacted an executive order that helped keep some immigrants from being deported because of a lack of comprehensive immigration reform, his action excludes any immigrants that came to the United States illegally from being able to qualify for federal health benefits. The cost to expand Medi-Cal to immigrant children could end up costing $135 million a year even without an executive action by the President.

For more about California health coverage for illegal immigrant children, contact us at the Benefits Store today.


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