Ready, Set, Enroll- Enrolling Undocumented Children in Medi-Cal: New Issue Brief

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Date: 05/31/16
Author: Rafael A. Gomez, MPP and Bobbie Wunsch, MBA of Pacific Health Consulting Group
Publisher: Blue Shield of California Foundation
Type: Policy brief
Level: State

Under Senate Bill 75, California has expanded eligibility for full scope Medi-Cal to all low-income children under the age of 19, regardless of immigration status. Community Health Centers (CHCs) are at the forefront of local education and enrollment efforts around this opportunity. This brief explores the strategies being utilized by California's CHCs to help undocumented children gain coverage, and highlights the barriers to enrollment that face undocumented and mixed-immigration-status families throughout the state. As of May 16, an estimated 170,000 - 250,000 undocumented children throughout California are eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal. While this change represents a critical step towards coverage for all, community health centers must now play an increasingly important role in the enrollment process. To support them in this effort, Blue Shield of California Foundation commissioned a new brief as part of the series "Ready, Set, Enroll." It includes promising practices and realistic recommendations for safety net providers as they endeavor to educate families and enroll newly-eligible kids across the state. The brief also includes case studies that illustrate how three health centers are successfully leading this work in their communities. From new collaborations with social service agencies to telephone and door-to-door outreach to school-based workshops, these strategies demonstrate what can be done to ensure that every child in California has the chance to lead a healthy life.

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