State of California to Repay Millions After Handing Out Free Health Care to Migrants

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[Photo Credit: By U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Quijas, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=124246869]

The federal government is reportedly owed tens of millions of dollars by California as a result of the incorrect claim of medical care reimbursements for noncitizens, according to a new federal audit.

According to a recent report by the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Golden State is required to reimburse the federal government for nearly $53 million after it falsely claimed reimbursements from the Medicaid program for illegal immigrants and other noncitizens.

The results are revealed as California is currently facing a significant budget deficit in the tens of billions of dollars.

The controversy pertains to the manner in which California officials determined federal reimbursements for medical care provided to noncitizens.

According to the audit, states are generally prohibited from claiming Medicaid reimbursement for the treatment of foreign nationals who do not meet federal requirements, with the exception of medical emergency situations.

According to the report, California employed a formula to ascertain the expense of its Medi-Cal program on “non-emergency services” for illegal immigrants and other noncitizens who were not covered by the federal government.

This amount was then subtracted from the total expenditure on emergency care, resulting in a price tag that was reimbursed under Medicaid.

Federal auditors determined that the calculation procedure employed by California was inaccurate, as it had not been updated in several years.

California “improperly” claimed $52.7 million of the nearly $373 million in Medicaid reimbursements for noncitizens who did not satisfy the federal threshold between October 2018 and June 2019, according to the report.

The report suggested that California officials refund the funds to the federal government and collaborate with regulators to ascertain the extent to which additional federal funds may have been incorrectly claimed in years that were not included in the audit.

The report was released mere weeks after California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom announced the implementation of numerous expenditure reductions to address a state deficit that is nearly $45 billion.

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