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Advocates Say More Immigrants Eligible For Medi-Cal

California's State Capitol Building
Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics

Immigrant advocates say more undocumented Californians could receive health care as a result of President Barack Obama’s recent executive action. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

California already allows some undocumented immigrants to enroll in Medi-Cal if they’ve qualified for deportation relief. Anthony Wright is Executive Director of the consumer advocacy group Health Access California. He says the president's executive action will expand the pool of Medi-Cal eligible immigrants.

Wright: “California has a long and proud history and tradition and policy of covering certain categories of immigrants, including those with deferred action status through a state-only Medi-Cal program.”

However the California Department of Health Care Services says it’s still waiting for guidance from the federal government. The state must already provide some medical services to undocumented immigrants.  

The department notes any information provided by undocumented immigrants is used to determine their Medi-Cal eligibility, and not for immigration enforcement.