Beginning in January 2024, California will accept Medicaid enrollments from low-income, undocumented immigrants ages 26-49 who qualify for benefits. As many as 700,000 individuals are expected to enroll under this expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. Governor Gavin Newsom has said that he expects this expansion to save the state money by easing the burden of uncompensated care on hospitals. In response, health plans are expanding their onboarding operations and hiring health navigators to work in community-based clinics and federally qualified health centers to assist enrollees with onboarding.
California has previously taken steps to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to include younger and older, undocumented adults. Taken together, these expansions are aimed at providing access to healthcare services for a significant population of low-income, undocumented immigrants who previously did not qualify for Medi-Cal due to their immigration status. These changes are part of California's broader efforts to improve healthcare access and equity within the state, especially for vulnerable populations.
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