California To Repay Feds $52M In Improper Immigrant Medicaid Payments

FILE - California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during an interview in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023. Newsom has signed a bill to ban school boards from rejecting textbooks based on their teachings about the contributions of people from different racial backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities. On Monday, Sept. 25, Newsom said the measure is “long overdue.” (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

The state of California recently agreed to repay more than $52 million in what a federal inspector general determined were “improperly claimed” Medicaid reimbursements for “noncitizens with unsatisfactory immigration status[es].”

An audit, concluded in late May but first reported Monday, underlined that federal Medicaid benefits are usually limited only to citizens and “qualified” noncitizens. Examples of qualified noncitizens are refugees, people granted asylum or those lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

The audit, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services under Inspector General Christi Grimm, covered more than $372 million in federal Medicaid reimbursements made on behalf of noncitizens during fiscal year 2019. A total of $52.7 million of that sum was not filed for in accordance with federal requirements.

The inspector general in part blamed an outdated calculation metric for the disparity.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, the California Department of Health Care Services acknowledged the inspector general’s findings.

“[DHCS] plans to repay the federal government in full by June 30, 2024,” the statement read.

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