Gov. Brown Signs Law That Would Allow Undocumented Immigrants to Buy Health Coverage

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Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee, center, gathers with local lawmakers at an open enrollment event in 2015. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that could make it easier for people in the country illegally to buy health insurance.

Immigrants here illegally can’t purchase coverage through the healthcare exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. Under SB 10, the state will formally ask the federal government to allow such immigrants to buy insurance through Covered California, without cost to the state or federal government.

California would be the first state to ask for this exception.

“The current policy disallowing immigrants from purchasing care with their own money is both discriminatory and outdated,” Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who wrote the bill, said in a statement. “I thank Gov. Brown for advancing justice today.”

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