U.S. Law Center

How would SB4 help undocumented immigrants in California?

Many in the United States believe that health care access should be available as a basic right. Unfortunately, if you are an undocumented immigrant, there is little or no assistance in place to help you cover the high costs of a doctor or hospital visit. California legislators are attempting to remedy this by proposing Senate Bill 4. According to the California Immigrant Policy Center, the goal of SB4 is to provide access to health care coverage that is similar to what is available to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

The availability of Medi-Cal would be expanded if SB4 is passed. If you have an undocumented child who is between the ages of 0 and 19, he or she would be eligible for Medi-Cal, which is similar to Medicaid. If you are a recently documented immigrant with a green card that you have had for less than 5 years, or you have a deferred action status, you may be eligible to take part in Medi-Cal, even though you are not able to participate in federal health insurance programs.

Under SB4, the state is asking the federal government to grant approval for the state to allow you to purchase coverage through Covered California, a state marketplace for health insurance, if you are an undocumented resident. The state has planned to create a similar marketplace for you if the approval is not granted. You would not be eligible for the subsidies and tax credits typically provided by the federal government, but the program would mirror the Covered CA program in other respects. This information about Senate Bill 4 is provided for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.

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