California giving serious consideration to expanding MediCal benefits to immigrants

California Gov. Jerry Brown is giving serious weight to expanding MediCal coverage to undocumented immigrants in the state who fall under the protection of Pres. Obama’s recent executive order. The LA Times reports that the Brown administration is reviewing the idea, though cost could be a factor in any decision. “We’re still evaluating, but the […]

California Gov. Jerry Brown is giving serious weight to expanding MediCal coverage to undocumented immigrants in the state who fall under the protection of Pres. Obama’s recent executive order.

The LA Times reports that the Brown administration is reviewing the idea, though cost could be a factor in any decision.

“We’re still evaluating, but the president’s recent action on undocumented immigrants could perhaps open a door for more coverage of more people under MediCal,’’ said Nancy McFadden, the governor’s top policy aide, speaking at an event hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California. “We’re looking at that. That, of course, is going to cost money.’’

The executive order by the president could allow for up to an additional 1 million new MediCal enrollees, the Times reported.

Nationally, the executive order could impact some 5 million people of immigrant status. California, though, differs from most states in that extends MediCal benefits to those who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Obama’s 2012 policy for young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Covered California has already been one of the most successful state-run exchanges under Obamacare, and seeing more enrollment from Latinos, who make nearly 40 percent of the state’s population,could be an additional boon to its enrollment figures.