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Will Covered California sell plans to undocumented immigrants?
Modern Healthcare

California is moving to become the first state to allow unauthorized immigrants to purchase insurance through the state exchange. The state assembly voted Tuesday to open up Covered California to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who want to purchase a health plan with their own funds.

SB 10, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara from southeast Los Angeles County, would authorize the state to apply for a federal waiver to make the change. The state Senate voted to pass the measure last June and an April staff report from Covered California also expressed support for the move.

The legislation would be cost-neutral to the state, and the biggest hurdle could well be getting the waiver itself. “The federal government is adamant about not providing any Affordable Care Act benefits to undocumented immigrants,” said Joel Diringer, a San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based health policy consultant at Diringer and Associates.