Virginia lawmakers eye insurance coverage for undocumented minors

A Virginia lawmaker has proposed new legislation that would expand health insurance coverage to undocumented residents under the age of 19. The bill passed in the Virginia Senate Feb. 13.

If signed into law, the bill would "establish a program to provide state-funded comprehensive healthcare coverage" to anyone not covered under a commercial health plan in a manner consistent with the state's Medicaid coverage for children. The bill would expand coverage to minors who are part of families at 205% of the federal poverty level. 

Republican senators recently introduced legislation in Congress that would ban the use of federal funding to expand state Medicaid benefits to undocumented residents.

Federal law already prohibits noncitizens from receiving Medicaid, but states can use their own funds to extend benefits. 

In 2024, California became the first state to offer Medicaid coverage to all eligible undocumented individuals. A few other states offer Medicaid to noncitizens within certain age groups. 

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