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700,000 illegal immigrants in California eligible for free health care under $2.6B 'Low-Income Undocumented Residents' plan
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700,000 illegal immigrants in California eligible for free health care under $2.6B 'Low-Income Undocumented Residents' plan

The state of California is offering its public health insurance, called Medi-Cal, to 700,000 illegal immigrants, Democrat state officials announced.

The move rounds out the state's coverage of illegal immigrants, which only previously covered those up to 25 years old and those over 50 years old.

The coverage was updated to include illegal immigrants between 26-49 years old, making an additional 700,000 people eligible under the state's plan to insure "low-income undocumented residents."

The California Health and Human Services Agency announced it would provide $835.6 million in funding between 2023-2024 and then $2.6 billion annually for the plan that became effective January 1, 2024, Forbes reported.

While immigration status is no longer a factor, income limits based on household size would be a barrier, although it is unclear how an illegal immigrant can declare any legal income.

"All individuals, regardless of immigration status, who meet all other Medi-Cal eligibility criteria will be eligible for full scope Medi-Cal," the plan, released in August 2023, explained.

"California will become the first state to remove immigration status as a barrier to health care, making all low-income undocumented residents eligible for state-subsidized insurance regardless of age," a press release from Democratic state Senator María Elena Durazo said in May 2023.

"This historic investment speaks to California’s commitment to health care as a human right," she continued.

Other state employees remarked that it is imperative that California provide health care for federal criminals:

"This budget investment reflects California’s values of inclusion and fairness and should be a model for the rest of the nation," said Sarah Dar, director of Health and Public Benefits Policy at the California Immigrant Policy Center.


At the same time, a Democrat Assemblyman for Los Angeles, Miguel Santiago, called it a "historic wrong" that illegal immigrants did not have health insurance. He also described the plan as "one of the most important pieces of legislation."

The medical plan mentioned several times throughout that the state will not consider applicants' illegal immigrant status and that applying for the program will not result in any kind of repercussions.

"Using Medi-Cal benefits ... will NOT hurt an individual's immigration status," the document stated. It also asks illegal immigrants to call if "you can’t get your proof" of citizenship or immigration status.

"Unlike before, immigration status does not matter," the plan added.

Medi-Cal is described on the state's website as "a public health insurance program which provides needed health care services for low-income individuals including families with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, foster care, pregnant women, and low income people with specific diseases such as tuberculosis, breast cancer, or HIV/AIDS."

Medi-Cal is "financed equally by the state and federal government."

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