SACRAMENTO, CA –Today, Senate Bill 4, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), was given the green light by the State Assembly. The bill was tailored to ensure that the recent Health for All Kids Budget Action is successfully implemented, covering all income-eligible children under the state Medi-Cal program.
“For the first time ever, California will provide full-scope Medi-Cal coverage to all kids, regardless of their immigration status, and SB4 will ensure that this action is efficiently implemented without delay,” said Senator Lara, “This major victory for the health of our state is only a down payment on achieving true health for all. I urge Governor Brown to sign this critical measure.”
Through the recently enacted state budget, California expanded Medi-Cal eligibility to all children, regardless of immigration status. An estimated 170,000 undocumented kids will now be eligible for health care coverage under Medi-Cal, beginning in May, 2016.
Senate Bill 4 is the first piece in the package to achieve full health for all. Senate Bill 10, which will be held until next year, is the second bill in this package and will include the provision to cover adults through a capped enrollment program and now includes the request of a Federal waiver so that immigrants can purchase health care through Covered Californai.
“Let me be absolutely clear: our work is not finished. Our critics doubted that we could get this far and to them I say: look what we accomplished in just one year! We will continue to build off of our victory, strengthen support and keep the momentum going for health for all. I am unwavering in my commitment.”
The amended version of SB 4 achieves three important goals:
• Clarifies that kids currently enrolled in restricted scope emergency Medi-Cal will not be required to submit a new application when they transition to full-scope coverage.
• Ensures that kids currently enrolled in restricted scope emergency Medi-Cal will be transferred to full scope services immediately, as soon the program is operational (May 1, 2016).
• Ensures that kids with serious medical conditions that require specialist care who are being newly enrolled in the program will be properly evaluated and referred.