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Health Insurance and Demographics of California Immigrants Eligible for Deferred Action

March 26, 2015

Policy Brief

Authors: Laurel Lucia, Xiao Chen, PhD , Ken Jacobs, Nadereh Pourat, PhD

This policy brief discusses the health insurance status, Medi-Cal eligibility, and demographics of California immigrants eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). These immigrants are not eligible for health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act, but Californians who are granted DACA or DAPA become eligible for comprehensive Medi-Cal coverage under state policy if otherwise eligible based on income. The authors find that up to 57 percent of Californians eligible for DACA or DAPA lacked private health insurance and had income below the Medi-Cal eligibility threshold in 2013.  They also estimate that between 360,000 and 500,000 Californians with DACA or DAPA could be eligible for Medi-Cal after several years of implementation.

This is a joint study between the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the UC Berkeley Center Labor Research and Education and was funded by The California Endowment.

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