LA Times: Report: 125,000 immigrants given deferred action eligible for Medi-Cal

Obamacare sign-upErica Sol, right and daughter Gudalupe Curiel, 3, listen during a screening event for Covered California and Medi-Cal enrollees at Our Lady of Peace Parish in North Hills. Obamacare sign-up events are picking up as the March 31 open-enrollment deadline approaches. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times /February 13, 2014)
By Soumya KarlamanglaA new report shows that as many as 125,000 young California immigrants may qualify for an expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.

The Affordable Care Act bars insurance subsidies and enrollment in the Medicaid expansion for undocumented immigrants, but a wrinkle in California rules does offer coverage for those with “deferred action status.”

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was created by President Obama in 2012 to grant immigrants who came to the country illegally as children — sometimes called Dreamers — legal status and work authorization for two-year periods.

Laurel Lucia, a policy analyst at the UC Berkeley Labor Center and author of the report released Tuesday, said California is one of the few states that lets youth with deferred action status enroll in Medicaid.

“But the word still hasn’t been spread,” she said.

The report found that 154,000 people in California had been granted the status as of December 2013. About 81%, or 125,000, are eligible for Medi-Cal based on their annual income, which has to be less than $15,850 for an individual.

To be eligible for deferred action, immigrants had to arrive in the U.S. before they were 16, be under 31 as of June 2012 and to have continuously lived in the U.S. since 2007.

COntinue reading here:,0,6821572.story#ixzz2udqtboNG

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