- On Tuesday, the California Assembly approved legislation allowing the state to apply for a federal waiver to allow undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance through the state exchange.
- The bill, SB 10, clarified that undocumented immigrants would not qualify for subsidies.
- There could be a major hurdle, as the federal government has opposed opening Obamacare to illegal immigrants.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara of southeast Los Angeles County, cleared the Senate in April. It also has support from Covered California, the state ACA exchange.
Still, insurance could be out of reach for many unauthorized immigrants. In 2016, the average monthly premium for a silver tier plan ran about $309 for an individual and $924 for a family.
Slightly more than a third of the state’s undocumented immigrants would have the income to purchase plans from Covered California, according to Modern Healthcare. The rest would fall under welfare. Lara is pushing another bill that would benefits under the state’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, to unauthorized residents.
Last fall, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a law to extend Medi-Cal coverage to children 18 and younger who don’t have legal residency.