As of January 1, 2020, California is expanding full-scope Medi-Cal to all young adults up to age 26 regardless of immigration status. Medi-Cal’s Young Adult Expansion builds on the success of SB 75, which expanded Medi-Cal to all children in California. Here in California, we are proud of the fact that more than a quarter of California residents are immigrants but undocumented immigrant adults make up the majority of California’s uninsured population. Young Adult Expansion helps fill in coverage gaps and provide critical access to comprehensive health care for immigrants in our state.
Most individuals who are eligible for Young Adult Expansion don’t have to take any action to enroll. In mid-November, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) sent a general information notice and an FAQ to nearly 70,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries with restricted scope Medi-Cal who will be automatically transitioned into Young Adult Expansion as of January 1, 2020. By the end of November 2019, DHCS will send a Medi-Cal Notice of Action to this population, letting them know of automatic changes to their coverage in the new year. Since these notices have started to go out, advocates and legal aid attorneys might start getting more calls about the Young Adult Expansion Program.
We need to encourage individuals who are not on Medi-Cal now, but are potentially eligible for Young Adult Expansion, to apply for Medi-Cal online or through their local county welfare office.
As discussed in our September 2019 blog, there are countless federal efforts that are fueling immigrant fears. A recent CaliforniaHealthline article discussed how there is grave concern that many young adults eligible for the program are hesitant to enroll. Therefore, we need to work vigilantly to educate young adults about Young Adult Expansion and to dispel immigrant fears about enrolling. A key group of advocates developed Health4AllYoungAdults.org so that you can educate your communities about the program. On this site, you will find useful resources, including a webinar put on by advocates that addresses the program overview, key dates and notices, and how we can work effectively with immigrant communities to encourage enrollment. More information can also be found on the DHCS webpage.
The National Health Law Program and Western Center on Law & Poverty, along with a key group of advocates, are working closely with the DHCS on implementation and roll-out of the program. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to [email protected].