California extends Medi-Cal to noncitizens over age 50

California is opening Medi-Cal to noncitizens over the age of 50 starting May 1.

Those over 50 and who fall below certain income thresholds will become eligible for the state's Medicaid program under an amended law. An estimated 185,000 people will become newly eligible for the coverage, according to an April 29 press release.

California law currently allows noncitizens with certain incomes to receive limited Medi-Cal coverage that includes emergency and pregnancy services, but the extension will provide access to primary care, prescription drugs, mental healthcare, dental and vision care. 

Individuals already enrolled in the limited Medi-Cal program will be automatically upgraded to the expanded coverage.

The California Health Care Services department is working with counties, consumer groups and the state marketplace to contact eligible individuals. 

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