Day 46- Medicaid at 50: State Highlight: California

Over the coming weeks this blog will highlight a key feature of Medicaid and the individual states that administer Medicaid and CHIP leading up the the program’s 50th anniversary (July 30th). Hopefully, you’ll learn some interesting facts about Medicaid and each of the 51 state programs.

nunst0006California’s Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal covers nearly 12,250,000. Obviously the most, and 1/6th of the total Medicaid/CHIP population.

California and Medicaid comprise 2 of my 3 favorite non-human things on the planet. This made today’s post very difficult because California’s Medicaid program is so rich in different stories. Fortunately, today the state decided make news and highlight one of their programs for me.

Today, the California reached a budget deal that would extend Medicaid coverage to eligible undocumented children in the state. The state will spend $40 million of state funds next year to extend Medi-Cal coverage to nearly 200,000 low-income, undocumented Californian children.

Since 1996, people who are not lawfully present in the country were not eligible for federal Medicaid funds. States, like California, have added to their programs provisions to cover certain eligibility groups under Medicaid. For example, California’s Medi-Cal has covered pregnant women, long-term care and emergency room services.

Additionally, people that are lawfully present are not permitted to receive federal funding for Medicaid until they have been in the country legally for 5 years. The 2009 CHIPRA renewal allowed states to eliminate this waiting period for pregnant women and children.

California has made bold efforts to make health insurance coverage available to all residents within the state, despite the fact that this requires that they spend their own state funds.

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