The California Report: Newly Protected Immigrants Will Be Eligible for Medi-Cal, Advocates Say
California undocumented immigrants who are eligible for deferred deportation under President Obama’s executive action are expected to be eligible for Medi-Cal, as long as they meet income guidelines, advocates said Thursday.
Medi-Cal is the state’s health insurance program for people who are low income.
Under federal law, these immigrants are not eligible for other benefits of the Affordable Care Act, including subsidies on the Covered California exchange.
Gabrielle Lessard is a health policy attorney with the Los Angeles office of the National Immigration Law Center. “They’ll be in the same situation as DACA,” she said, in reference to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Obama’s 2012 policy for young undocumented immigrants who had come to the United States as children.
While most states do not extend Medicaid benefits to DACA immigrants, California does.
“‘Deferred action’ means those individuals who are approved are considered lawfully present,” said Ronald Coleman, government affairs manager for the California Immigrant Policy Center. “California has historically covered broad populations of immigrants who reside in the state.”