California became the first state to provide healthcare coverage to adult undocumented residents when Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation last week making those between the ages of 19 and 25 eligible for the state’s Medicaid program. (Children under 18 have been eligible for taxpayer-funded healthcare regardless of their immigration status since 2016.)
The roughly 100,000 additional Medi-Cal enrollees will cost the state about $100 million a year. But that sum will largely be offset by the imposition of a state individual health insurance mandate to replace the one in the Affordable Care Act that was eliminated as part of the Republican-engineered federal tax overhaul in 2017.
The state is also using the additional revenue from the state mandate - requiring residents to insure themselves and their dependents or incur a state tax penalty - to help hold down premiums in the state’s individual insurance marketplace. Those premiums are forecast to go up an average of less than 1 percent next year, the lowest increase since the state established its marketplace. (USA TODAY, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO)