Health | Law

California adopts broad definition of 'Indian' for health coverage





California's new health insurance exchange has adopted a broad definition of "Indian" in consultation with tribes and Indian groups in the state.

Under Covered California, an Indian is a descendent of anyone who has appeared on surveys or censuses since 1851. The definition is broad enough to include members of tribes that were terminated and members of tribes that have not been federally recognized.

“The key issue really has been the definition of an Indian,” Molin Malicay, the executive director of the Sonoma County Indian Health Project, told HealthyCal.

Malicay chairs the Tribal Advisory Workgroup for Covered California. The group will be educating eligible Indians about their options for health insurance.

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