Governor Signs Trailblazing Law Seeking Federal Approval to Open Health Insurance Marketplace to All Californians

June 10, 2016

Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

NILC Applauds Gov. Brown’s Signature on Trailblazing Law Seeking Federal Approval to Open its Health Insurance Marketplace to All Californians

Federal government must now move swiftly to approve California’s effort

LOS ANGELES — Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law SB 10, a measure that will take California closer to the goal of making affordable health care available to all Californians. This measure seeks federal approval to allow all Californians, regardless of immigration status, to buy full-price health insurance without government subsidies through Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The National Immigration Law Center applauds the governor and state legislature for leading the nation in providing the opportunity for more of its residents to get covered and stay healthy.

“People should be allowed to use their own money to purchase the coverage they need. California took a commonsense step forward by committing to remove this absurd barrier,” said Marielena Hincapié, NILC’s executive director. “The state should move quickly to submit the waiver application, which the federal government should approve without delay. This waiver is fully consistent with the promise of the Affordable Care Act. Our state, our economy, and our communities will benefit when more Californians can buy the health care they need.”

The new law builds upon California’s “Health for All” campaign waged by health care and immigrants’ advocates. Last month, the state began providing full-scope Medi-Cal coverage for all children under 19 years of age regardless of immigration status, if they meet other eligibility requirements.

“In order to have truly healthy communities, we all need to have access to affordable, quality health care. There is more work to be done, but California’s trailblazing efforts on this front should inspire other states to follow,” said Hincapié.

Under the law signed by Gov. Brown, the state will apply for a State Innovation Waiver under section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to offer full-price health plans in Covered California to immigrants who are currently shut out of the state marketplace even if they are willing to pay full price.

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