California is extending Medi-Cal health care coverage to more than 185,000 residents 50 years and older, regardless of their immigration status starting May 1.
“This is an investment in our people, our economy, and our future,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an April 29 statement.
This Medi-Cal coverage extension was a part of Assembly Bill 133, which was voted into law in July 2021, following Newsom’s proposal to expand health care to low-income residents and address “health disparities and inequities, especially among populations of color” during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the statement.
Medi-Cal currently provides low-income individuals under the age of 25 or above the age of 65, pregnant women, and those with disabilities with free or low-cost medical and dental care.
Until recently, Medi-Cal was only available for U.S. citizens in the state, except for refugees staying in the country temporarily.
“We’re delivering concrete results for Californians, continuing to fulfill the promise of a Healthy California for All, and I encourage all those eligible to take advantage of these essential health services,” Newsom said.
Looking forward, Newsom has also proposed expanding Medi-Cal coverage to about 700,000 people from ages 26 to 49, regardless of their immigration status by January 2024.