In July, Governor Newsom and the Legislature passed as historic budget that invests in all walks of life for Californians. For older adults, this budget is great news; it addresses all 5 goals of the Master Plan for Aging and reverses some long-standing cuts from the Great Recession.
Some of the highlights include a phased-in reversal of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) state supplement grant cuts; expansion of both Medi-Cal to undocumented older adults 50 and older and of the HomeSafe program; and bold investments in housing and homelessness. It also includes the elimination of the Medi-Cal asset test, something California Health Advocates has advocated for for years.
As quoted from our partners Justice in Aging’s summary of the 2021-22 budget, the phased-in elimination of Medi-Cal’s asset test will happen over the next two and a half years. “First, no sooner than July 1, 2022, the state will raise the asset limit in the programs serving older adults and people with disabilities to $130,000 for an individual and $65,000 for each additional family member. This significant increase should allow many people to get on or stay on Medi-Cal without having to impoverish themselves. Then, no sooner than January 1, 2024, the state will eliminate the asset test completely. These changes will expand access to Medi-Cal for approximately 18,000 new beneficiaries and improve access to benefits for almost 2 million Californians currently on Medi-Cal. The budget provides $394 million in FY2022-23 for this change.”
For an overview of the more than 40 budget provisions impacting low-income older adults and people with disabilities organized by the goal areas of the Master Plan for Aging, read Justice in Aging’s Summary of the Final California 2021-22 Budget.