California must pay feds $53M over 'improperly' claimed reimbursements for noncitizens

California Av signage on traffic light post by Vital Sinkevich is licensed under

California owes the federal government $52.7 million after it “improperly” requested reimbursements for services provided to noncitizens, according to a recent inspector general report.

The Golden State claimed Medicaid reimbursements for services it provided to “noncitizens with unsatisfactory immigration status,” the report reads. The category does not include those seeking asylum or refugees. States are prohibited from claiming such federal reimbursements except in medical emergency situations, which did not apply here, according to the report.

An audit by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspector general’s office found California had been using an outdated calculation method to determine how much federal reimbursements to claim between Oct. 2018 and June 2019. This calculation did not account for the services given to noncitizens, which must be funded by the state, according to the report.

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