Expansion of Medi-Cal to all people who are 50 years of age or older will be effective May 1, 2022

March 14, 2022 /

As of May 1, 2022, the Older Adult Expansion will extend Medi-Cal to those who are 50 and older who meet all the Medi-Cal eligibility criteria. Undocumented immigrants will also be part of this expansion. 

There are many undocumented immigrants in California and many of them need medical resources. Medical expenses are most likely to be avoided if the expense is too much. 

Local residents in Kern County speak about the medical expansion taking effect on May 1, explaining that undocumented community members should be more appreciated for their hard work for taking the jobs that are least favorable but most important such as working in the fields to bring food to the tables of others.

“I think it is good because undocumented people have lived here and worked here in the United Stated with no benefits. They need people since a lot of undocumented people work in the fields and not that many people are willing to work there. With medical insurance they will be able to get covered if they get sick,” said an anonymous Kern County resident.

This law is modeled by the Young Adult Expansion which provides Medi-Cal to young adults 19 through 26 regardless of immigration status. Also, it helps increase the cutoff of minors to still be eligible to be under a parents health insurance until age 26. This was modeled after Senate Bill 75 which provided medi-cal care to all minors under 19 regardless of immigration status.

The Older Adult Expansion is set to help many undocumented families. It is estimated that 235,000 people will be part of this expansion.

Other residents explain that undocmented community members struggle to pay for needed medical expenses because of the lack of resources available.

“They should not only get Medi-Cal but also unemployment. They deserve it and they need money since they do not have many sources of income. They work and they do not have enough money for medical reasons,” said Alberto Sosa, Kern County resident.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s goal is to bring universal healthcare in California. The expansion will be entirely covered by the state. California will be the first state to have the most low-income health coverage in the country. 

Currently, income-eligible immigrants are only able to qualify for emergency room or pregnancy related medical coverage. The Older Adult Expanison is set to help many undocumented families be covered with Medi-Cal.

Erica Murillo

Erica Murillo is a project coordinator and reporter at South Kern Sol. She was born in Bakersfield, California, and her origin is from Guanajuato, Mexico. She is a first-generation graduate from California State University, Bakersfield where she earned a degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in English. Murillo's first job was working in the fields picking grapes. She has been able to evolve and continue to grow within her career. She can be reached at erica@southkernsol.org.