New Law: California Residents Eligible for Health Care Regardless of Immigration Status

A person in a lab coat with their arms folded holding a stethoscope
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By Diana Quirarte and Veronica Miller

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A medical expansion just now starting in California will allow state residents over age 50 to apply for full health care coverage regardless of immigration status.

Gavin Newsom signed this legislation last year, making California the first state to expand full Medi-Cal coverage to its low income residents without taking into account citizenship or residential status.

The expansion supports the Newson Administration’s vision of a Healthy California for All by addressing the health disparities that take place within disadvantaged communities.

Gov. Newsom said, “This is an investment in our people, our economy, and our future,” and has plans to extend the expansion to all residents regardless of age and immigration status in hopes of making California the state with the most comprehensive health care coverage.”

In Sonoma County, 2,000 immigrant residents will be able to receive access to Medi-Cal, joining the 100,000 Sonoma County residents that are currently on Medi-Cal.

Immigrants in the past had not been able to receive the full benefits provided through Medi-Cal.

They also had to have a satisfactory immigration status to be able to receive the limited access to Medi-Cal that they had before. Through this expansion they will be able to gain access to all the benefits, and will also gain coverage for their dental care and preventative visits, according to the new law.

Felisa Pinson, director of the county Department of Human Services’ Economic Assistance Division said, “Medi-Cal is a critical service in Sonoma County. This expansion means that, regardless of immigration status, eligible adults over 50 will be able to afford medications, doctor visits and preventative care.”

Added Pinson, “This will improve the health of our community substantially and result in fewer emergency room visits because of access to preventative care.”

About The Author

Veronica is a senior at UC Davis majoring in Political Science Public Service. She is passionate about advocating for women's rights and plans on attending law school where she can continue to advocate.

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