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Video: Health Coverage & Undocumented Immigrants

Linda Strean November 13, 2015
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Legislative efforts, executive decisions, and public opinion all suggest interest in expanding health coverage to California’s undocumented immigrants. The state’s decision to provide Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented children reflects that support. But the vast majority of undocumented residents in California are adults, and they make up a sizable share of residents without health insurance.

A new PPIC report finds that half of California’s undocumented immigrants—about 1.4 million—have incomes low enough to qualify for full Medi-Cal benefits should legislative proposals to offer coverage be enacted.

This week at a briefing in Sacramento, PPIC research associates Shannon McConville and Iwunze Ugo presented their report, which includes estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants across family income levels and the Covered California insurance regions. These estimates can help policymakers plan for the increase in Medi-Cal participants if coverage is expanded—which will depend on the legislature, governor, and federal courts.

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