California expands Medi-Cal to all eligible adults 50 and older

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The expansion, beginning May 1, builds on the state’s Healthy California for All strategy and comes as the governor proposes to expand Medi-Cal to all eligible state residents, regardless of age. age or immigration status.

SACRAMENTO – Starting May 1, Medi-Cal, California’s health coverage program for low-income individuals and families, is expanding eligibility for full coverage to more than 185,000 people age 50 or older , regardless of their immigration status. “We are delivering real results to Californians, continuing to deliver on the promise of a healthy California for all, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to take advantage of these essential healthcare services,” Governor Newsom said. “This is an investment in our people, our economy and our future. But we don’t stop there. California is set to expand Medi-Cal to all eligible Californians, regardless of age or immigration status, offering the most comprehensive health coverage nationwide. Last year, Governor Newsom signed legislation making California the first state in the nation to extend full Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income adults age 50 or older, regardless of immigration status. . Subject to legislative approval, Governor Newsom proposed this year to expand Medi-Cal to all eligible residents, regardless of age or immigration status. The expansion population includes persons 50 years of age or older who are eligible for Medi-Cal, who do not have satisfactory immigration status, or who are unable to establish satisfactory immigration status for Medi -Cal complete and who are not yet enrolled in Medi-Cal. It also includes people age 50 or older who are currently enrolled in restricted-scope Medi-Cal. People age 50 and older, regardless of immigration status, who have not applied for Medi-Cal can apply here starting May 1, 2022. “This expansion of Medi-Cal supports the Newsom administration’s vision of a healthy California for all by addressing health coverage disparities that disproportionately impact disadvantaged communities. We are committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion on behalf of all Californians,” said Michelle Baass, director of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). “This action reflects our core belief that all Californians deserve quality health care.” Many of these people and their communities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and have had limited access to care. This expansion will improve access to preventive and routine care, improve financial security for those who enroll, and strengthen California’s efforts to address health disparities and inequities, especially among populations of color. . The state has worked in recent years to expand health coverage to more Californians. In May 2016, children under the age of 19 became eligible for full Medi-Cal benefits, and in January 2020, full Medi-Cal was extended to young adults ages 19-25, regardless of childcare status. immigration. Previously, these people qualified only for limited Medi-Cal services, such as emergency, prenatal, and long-term care. Now they can access the full range of benefits available to Medi-Cal recipients, including free/low-cost quality health care, behavioral health services, alcohol-related disorder treatment services, substance use and dental services through the various delivery systems of the Medi-Cal program. “These Californians now have a place where they can coordinate all of their medical, dental, mental and substance use disorder needs, and a primary care physician to better manage their health issues,” said Jacey Cooper, Director of State Medicaid. “Everyone enjoys guaranteed access to all Californians, and many of us know someone who depends on Medi-Cal for vital health coverage.” The next step in California’s coverage expansion, pending legislative approval, is outlined in the Governor’s 2022-2023 budget, which proposes to expand Medi-Cal coverage to approximately 700,000 adults aged ages 26 to 49 and older without satisfactory immigration status, effective no earlier than January 1, 2024. Expanding Medi-Cal to hundreds of thousands more is an important step to help close the gaps in health equity in the state and move us closer to universal coverage. The extension to persons aged 50 and over was included in Assembly Bill 133 (Chapter 143, Laws of 2021), which amended section 14007.8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. For nearly a year, the DHCS held monthly Advocate and County Task Force meetings to implement this expansion. The US Department of Homeland Security and US Citizenship and Immigration Services do NOT consider health, food, and housing services as part of the determination of public charges. Therefore, use of Medi-Cal benefits (with the exception of nursing home or mental health facility care) will NOT affect an individual’s immigration status. When a person applies for state-funded benefits, their information is only used to determine if they are eligible. State laws protect the confidentiality of their information.

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