Smokers in California won’t be charged more for health care because of their habit. And people getting other kinds of public assistance will have a streamlined way to enroll in Medi-Cal.
Anthony Wright of the consumer advocacy group Health Access says there are reasons why California has been implementing the federal law so vigorously.
“Californians are more likely to be uninsured, more likely to not get coverage on the job, more likely to have to buy coverage, and more likely as individuals to be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions than residents of all other states,” says Wright.
Recent legal immigrants in the U.S. for less than five years will be part of the Medicaid expansion in California. Also, people buying their own insurance in the Golden State will continue to have the option to claim domestic partners as spouses.
“California has been a leader in maximizing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, to not just implement it but to improve upon it,” says Wright.
President Donald Trump and his administration want to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, which policy analysts say could put more burden on states to cover costs -- and lead to coverage cuts in California.
A legislative effort to expand Medi-Cal to undocumented adults in California fell short earlier this year. But more counties are stepping in where the state leaves off.
More California voters support the Affordable Care Act, according to the latest Field Poll. And in a fresh round of findings, the survey shows broad support for raising California's minimum wage and cigarette tax.
Covered California is welcoming the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding federal subsidies for the Affordable Care Act.
Covered California says its recent enrollment numbers show more Latinos and young people signed up this year.