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California expands health care to more low-income immigrants

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Posted at 3:08 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 18:08:48-04

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Older Californians who are living in the country without permission are newly eligible for state health care coverage under legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday.

The new Medi-Cal coverage applies to low-income immigrants 50 and up.

It kicks in next year and will eventually cost taxpayers $1.3 billion a year. Supporters say the pandemic underscored just how essential immigrants are to agriculture, food processing and other critical industries.

California expanded Medi-Cal to children in 2016 and to young adults in 2020, regardless of immigration status. Newsom said the new policy is expected to apply to about 235,000 people.