Final 2019-20 State Budget Continues the Move Toward Universal Coverage
June 28, 2019
The final 2019-20 state budget (and related legislation) just signed by Governor Newsom moves California steps closer to universal coverage, improves coverage affordability in the individual market, and invests in system improvements in Medi-Cal, mental health services and services for homeless individuals.
The budget appropriates $215 billion in total state spending. The final budget, among other things:
- Expands Medi-Cal to cover low-income undocumented young adults age 19-25;
- Extends Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income seniors with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), addressing a gap in the existing eligibility formula;
- Establishes state subsidies, above the level of federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies, for individuals who buy coverage through the state’s ACA marketplace, Covered California;
- Requires all Californians to maintain minimum health care coverage and establishes a state penalty for failure to do so; and
- Allocates Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenues to, among other things, Medi-Cal provider rate increases, payment reform, workforce programs and trauma screening for Medi-Cal recipients.