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Governor Signs Veteran-Benefit Bill

It was a bill that had no organized opposition, and passed through every committee without a single “nay” vote.

The governor added his approval Tuesday to that overwhelming support, signing AB 1869 by Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) into law.

The legislation affects approximately 130,000 veterans who remain uninsured despite possibly being eligible for federal Veterans Affairs health benefits, according to a Senate analysis of California Health Interview Survey data compiled by UCLA.

It’s possible that some of the 174,000 veterans who receive Medi-Cal benefits in California might be eligible for federal veterans’ benefits. Usaing veterans eligibility could save the state money, since Medi-Cal is supposed to be the payer of last resort, the Senate analysis said.

So now the task for the Office of the Patient Advocate is to help eligible and uninsured veterans get coverage, and to find out if those veterans already on Medi-Cal might be eligible for federal coverage, which could enhance their benefits.

AB 1869 goes into effect Jan. 1.

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Capitol Desk Public Health