1-877-752-4737

Health Insurance for Children without Lawful Presence

by John Hansen

Minors without lawful presence can now qualify for child health insurance coverage through Medi-Cal if the household income is no more than 266% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

A Hot Political Issue

The question of California health care coverage for illegal immigrants has been a hot political issue in the state and in the country. Many are concerned that giving those without lawful presence medical insurance will attract more illegal immigration. However, if these individuals do not have insurance, then what do we do when they have a health care need?

Do we leave illegal immigrants outside the hospital to die like they do with the uninsured in China? Or, do we offer them care? If we offer health care services to illegals, then who pays for this care? Should the private hospital have to foot the bill? Or, should the government pick up the tab?

What about health insurance for the children of illegal immigrants?

Then, the question becomes what about child only health insurance in California for illegal immigrants? What about children who do not have lawful presence ? If Californians couldn’t stomach adults without lawful presence not receiving care, then they definitely would not want to withhold health care from children.

Minors without lawful presence have several options regarding health insurance for children in California. If these kids are in a household that has an FPL of 266% or less, they qualify for full Medi-Cal. If the FPL is over 266%, the children may qualify for Restricted Medi-Cal, private health insurance or in some counties they may be offered other government health insurance plans.

Child Health Care Options Through and Outside of the California Health Exchange

According to Covered California, individuals and families who are not legally in California may enroll through the  Covered California website to see if they qualify for family plans or child only health insurance coverage through Medi-Cal. However, the health care insurance benefits may be limited, especially for adults. Illegal immigrants can also purchase private insurance coverage on their own outside of the California Health Exchange. Also, there are some counties that provide special health insurance for the children of immigrants who are not lawfully present in California.