Medi-Cal expansion passes

Legislation will extend coverage to more than 1 million state residents

California’s Assembly and Senate have passed two pieces of legislation to expand the Medi-Cal program.

Under the umbrella of the federal Affordable Care Act, which will require most Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or face a penalty, the state Senate and Assembly bills will ensure more than 1 million low-income and uninsured Californians will have access to Medi-Cal coverage, according to The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert. The bills extend coverage to adults over 65 who don’t have children living at home, and raises the ceiling for eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or $15,400.

More than 7 million Californians are currently covered under Medi-Cal; the expansion likely will result in between 1 million and 1.6 million new enrollments by 2014.