California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced that, beginning May 1, the state’s low-income health insurance would extend full coverage to all qualifying people who are 50 or older, regardless of immigration status.

The Medi-Cal expansion is expected to provide full coverage to more than 185,000 Californians, according to Newsom’s office.

“We’re delivering concrete results for Californians, continuing to fulfill the promise of a Healthy California for All, and I encourage all those eligible to take advantage of these essential health services,” Newsom said in a statement. “This is an investment in our people, our economy, and our future. But we’re not stopping there. California is on the path to expand Medi-Cal to all eligible Californians regardless of age or immigration status, providing the most comprehensive health coverage in the entire country.”

In January, Newsom proposed expanding Medi-Cal coverage to all low-income undocumented adults, beginning in January 2024, to the annual cost of $2.7 billion.

The program’s launch in the 2023-24 fiscal year is expected to cost $819.3 million.

The May 1 expansion is expected to cost the state $1.3 billion a year.

The May 1 expansion includes all people 50 years of age or older who are eligible for Medi-Cal whose immigration status is unsatisfactory. It also includes people 50 or older currently enrolled in restricted-scope Medi-Cal.

“These Californians now have a place where they can coordinate all of their medical, dental, mental, and substance use disorder needs, and a primary care physician to better manage their health conditions,” said Jacey Cooper, State Medicaid Director, in a statement. “Everyone benefits from ensuring access for all Californians, and many of us know someone who depends on Medi-Cal for vital health coverage.”

People 50 or older, regardless of their immigration status, can apply here.

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