- About half of California's undocumented immigrants could be eligible for Medi-Cal if coverage is expanded, according to a new report.
- The report, from the Public Policy Institute of California, estimates about 1.4 million undocumented immigrants could obtain healthcare coverage through Medi-Cal if extended coverage is provided.
- California already provides coverage to some low wage undocumented immigrants and soon will extend it to undocumented children.
Medi-Cal for otherwise eligible undocumented immigrants was dropped earlier this year from a measure in the state legislature, after cost estimates soared past $1 billion. But backers have promised a new push, and another move is underway to allow undocumented immigrants with higher incomes to purchase insurance through the state exchange.
"Recognizing the benefits of reducing the number of uninsured residents, California policymakers — including the previous Republication administration under Governor (Arnold) Schwarzenegger — sought major coverage expansions well before federal health reform became a reality. Now that the ACA is making more improvements possible, these changes will continue to develop in coming years," the report states.