Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), in partnership with QueensCare Health Centers, on Aug. 13 hosted a press conference to celebrate California’s historic investment in expanding Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented immigrants 50 and older.
“If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s the importance of having access to basic health care,” Santiago said. “COVID-19 hit low-income, people of color the hardest, particularly undocumented immigrants, due to their lack of access to health care services. By expanding Medi-Cal to our undocumented elders, California will be helping to prevent more families from paying up to thousands of dollars in out of pocket costs for basic health needs. I am proud to have been a part of this historic fight to expand health care to our undocumented neighbors.”
In 2019, California became the first state in the country to provide health care coverage to undocumented immigrants up to age 26. After May 2022, California will expand Medi-Cal services to approximately 235,000 undocumented immigrants aged 50 and older, who will now have access to preventive services, long-term care and in-home supportive services.
“With the Delta variant of COVID-19 sweeping through California, it is more important than ever that we continue in our fight to expand health care access to all Californians, regardless of immigration status,” Durazo said. “We are proud and excited of the inclusion of all Californians 50 and older in this year’s budget, but it’s equally important that we get the word out about the program so that our most vulnerable communities know how and when they will be able to enroll in Medi-Cal next year. This is a matter of our collective public health — our health care system will only be truly effective for all Californians once all Californians have access to health care.”
Eloisa Perard, president and CEO of QueensCare Health Centers, said the expansion was unprecedented.
“This legislation is a step in the right direction for equitable, prevention-focused health care for over 235,000 qualifying Californians,” she said. “QueensCare Health Centers will continue to advance the #Health4All goal and fight to provide quality health care to all, regardless of ability to pay, health coverage and immigration status. We rejoice in gratitude for our civic leaders who advocate for healthier communities.”