Undocumented children to be given health care in California

Image by Health4All Coalition Campaign Facebook page
  • Undocumented children in California will now be receiving health care benefits
  • Children under 19 years of age from low-income families can now receive health care for free
  • If Senate Bill 10 passes through, undocumented adults might be receiving the same benefits soon

The fight for health care coverage for undocumented children in California may be coming to a close. The state’s med-cal program has recently expanded to cover undocumented children that come from low-income families.

The health care coverage has now expanded to include children under 19 years old who earn $65,505 or less annually. First Focus, a children’s advocacy group said the aim of this expansion is to guarantee available health care for a population that “for the most part only had limited access to emergency-only services.”

The Desert Sun‘s report says these children are now eligible for vision, dental, and mental health benefits. It also includes behavioral treatment to children with autism.

It is $13 per child for families. This can go up to $39 for all children. Meanwhile, the families whose income are “on the lower end of the scale” will received health care coverage for free.

The Department of Health Care Services in California estimates that 114,981 undocumented children were previously eligible for health care but only for a restricted scope of benefits. 55,019 children could not receive any medi-cal benefits at all.

Sen. Ricardo Lara said that Health For All Kids Act which was signed just last year in October, will make California the “state with the largest immigrant population to provide health care coverage to low-income undocumented children.”

This move also makes California the fifth state to extend its health care coverage to undocumented children. The other states include Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Washington D.C. and Washington state.

Fox 40 said that a similar victory for the undocumented adults may come through soon if Senate Bill 10 or Senate Bill 1418 passes state legislature.

The Senate Bill 10 would allow undocumented adults to “pay for the kind of benefits offered through Affordable Care Act under Covered California.”

In 2011, the estimated number of undocumented Filipinos based on the US Citizenship and Immigration Service is 270,000 out of 3.45 million while the Migration Policy Institute stated that in 2015, 45 percent of Filipinos in the U.S. live in California.

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