California expands healthcare coverage to young undocumented adults

January 2, 2020 /

With the new year, California has expand health care coverage to young undocumented adults through California’s Medicaid program Medi-Cal.

Eligible 19 to 25 year olds now have access to preventive care, such as doctor visits, prescription drugs and dental services, according to a news release by Health4Kern.

“This is a huge step towards ensuring that all members of immigrant families have access to health care coverage regardless of their immigration status, and can lead healthier lives,” said Nataly Santamaria, of Vision y Compromiso and a member of Building Healthy Communities Kern’s Health4Kern Team. “Health care is a fundamental human right, and we know that a healthy community is a thriving community.”

An estimated 61,000 people in Kern County remain uninsured, according to Health4Kern. It’s unclear how many are undocumented youth between 19 to 25 years.

Prior to Jan. 1, 2020, undocumented, low-income adults in California had “very limited options for affordable health insurance coverage and experience access disparities,” according to a Health Policy Brief produced by UCLA.

Most undocumented, low-income adults in California have remained uninsured due to “ineligibility for full-scope Medi-Cal, the inability to purchase policies under Covered California, and limited affordable private options for coverage,” according to UCLA.