Migrants from Compact of Free Association nations will be covered by Medicaid under a federal plan up for a vote by lawmakers, according to Guam Del. Michael San Nicolas.

“For the first time since 1996, COFA migrants are slated to qualify in the upcoming vote on federal government funding for Medicaid coverage, which is at over 80% for Guam since we had the formula adjusted earlier in the year,” San Nicolas said Monday.

Citizens from the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau are allowed to freely live, work and study in the United States, however, they have not been covered by Medicaid for more than two decades.

The formula adjustment and the COFA coverage “combined are huge for Guam, as it transfers Guam (Medically Indigent Program) cost centers to Medicaid, and has the costs covered over 80% federally, compared to Guam absorbing it at 100% locally,” San Nicolas stated.

The development comes as lawmakers in Washington prepare to debate and vote on a federal COVID-19 relief package.

“More updates will be forthcoming over the next 24 to 48 hours, including on relief and stimulus packages,” San Nicolas stated.

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