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CRLAF's AB 636

Expanded Medi-Cal Coverage for Senior Residents of California

Sacramento, CA (May 25, 2022) – The California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

As of May 1, 2022, full scope Medi-Cal benefits, including preventative, behavioral health, long-term care, and dental and vision care, are available to eligible residents in California age 50 or older, regardless of immigration status.

“The pandemic made it very clear that we have a broken healthcare system, which disproportionately impacts people of color and those who are most vulnerable,” said Dr. Olga Meave, Interim CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista. “The Medi-Cal expansion is great news and we want to urge eligible residents to sign up today.”

Throughout the COVID-19 global health crisis, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) supported the Health4All Elders campaign during the budget committee process, and prioritized a number of additional efforts to increase rural, immigrant healthcare access. While the proposal originally suggested a full-scope Medi-Cal expansion that would cover all California residents over the age of 65, in May 2021, state funding was allocated for all adults 50 years of age and older, regardless of immigration status. We continue to celebrate this expansion as a significant and historic win that will cover approximately 235,000 farmworkers and residents.

CRLAF remains hopeful, and continues to advocate for a companion bill, which was put forward in January 2022, that would expand Medi-Cal for all undocumented between the ages of 26 and 49, closing the gap in individual eligibility and protecting the health of millions of community members otherwise without health insurance. CRLAF is currently in the process of providing outreach, education and training on individual eligibility, and connecting residents to organizations that provide enrollment assistance, to ensure that the health and well-being of our clients, especially the underserved communities of migrants and farmworkers, are protected and prioritized.

CRLAF was pleased to announce, discuss, and answer questions on this recent Medi-Cal expansion at a press conference on May 10, 2022 with the Health4Kern Action team, which includes All of Us or None, Building Healthy Communities Kern, Clinica Sierra Vista, Community Health Initiative, Dolores Huerta Foundation, Faith in Valley Kern, Kern Family Health Care, Kern Medical, UFW Foundation, Vision y Compromiso, and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.

The Health4Kern Action Team, in partnership with the Building Healthy Communities Kern organization, works to expand health care access, with a focus on low income and immigrant communities, and advance health and racial equity through power building and collaborations.


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