California Senate Approves Health Benefits for Undocumented Immigrants
June 3, 2015 - Yesterday the Senate passed controversial legislation (SB 4) extending health coverage to individuals regardless of their immigration status. California Sen. Ricardo Lara, the bill sponsor, stated more than 1 million undocumented people in the state lack access to affordable health care. Under the bill anyone younger than 19 would receive full Medicaid benefits, and anyone older could receive either limited or full Medicaid benefits, depending on available state funding. The legislation also requires California to seek a waiver from the federal government to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain exchange coverage, though they would not be eligible for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies. The bill now moves to the Assembly for consideration. Read the full bill text of SB 4.