California would be the first state in the nation to ask the federal government to allow immigrants in the country illegally to purchase health insurance through a state exchange under new proposed legislation.
Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) authored a bill that would have the state formally request the federal government to give permission for immigrants to pay for coverage through Covered California without cost to the state or federal government.
The federal permission would allow as many as 390,000 immigrants who earn an income too high to qualify for Medi-Cal to purchase healthcare through the exchange under the Affordable Care Act, Lara said.
“This proposal affirms our commitment to embrace and integrate our immigrant community, to lead where the federal government has failed and to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice of a community that contributes billions of dollars to our GDP,” Lara said in a statement.
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