SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Under a new policy announced Monday by California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive branch, about 40,000 low-income adults living illegally in the country will be eligible for government-funded health care. Never lose your insurance for the next year.

California already pays for health care for low-income adults under the age of 25, regardless of immigration status. New legislation, scheduled to go into effect in January 2024, expands these benefits to cover all adults who qualify for state Medicaid programs, except those with immigration status.

But between now and 2024, when the new law goes into effect, about 40,000 young adults already enrolled in Medicaid in California are expected to lose their benefits because they are 25 or older. increase. We will cover these young adults until the end of 2023 so that they do not lose their benefits.

“Providing ongoing coverage means that tens of thousands of Californian youth will not face care disruptions so they can stay covered and stay healthy,” said a consumer. said Jose Torres Casillas, policy and legislative advocate for Health Access California, a health care advocacy group. group. “California is once again leading the way in achieving better healthcare for all communities, regardless of income, age or immigration status.”

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, there will be about 22.1 million people living illegally nationwide in 2020, or about 7% of the population. These people are not eligible for most federal utility programs, even though many have jobs and pay taxes.

Some states, including California, use out-of-pocket expenses to cover medical costs for this group. Eighteen states offer prenatal care to people regardless of immigration status, while five states and the District of Columbia cover all children from low-income families regardless of immigration status. increase. California and Illinois recently qualified older immigrants for Medicaid programs.

California became the first state to pay medical bills for some adults living in the country illegally in 2019 when state legislators voted to qualify people under the age of 25 for Medicaid regardless of immigration status. was the state of

This policy went into effect in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The federal government has declared a public health emergency. This means that no one can lose their Medicaid benefits. That’s why many young immigrants in California are now able to stay on Medicaid despite being technically ineligible over the age of 25.

The Federal Public Health Emergency will end soon. Then all young people who are now over 25 will lose their benefits when they renew. Instead, the Newsom administration said it would postpone these updates until the end of 2023, giving time for the new laws to take effect.

“If we can protect these young adults who currently have Medi-Cal from being ineligible for coverage and then quickly re-enroll, we can prevent unnecessary shortages of medical services and medicines that people need. You can do it,” said Connie Choi, policy director for the California Immigration Service. Policy Center.

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