SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Thirty-five California counties have agreed to provide health care coverage to people who are in the United States illegally.

The decision was made Thursday by the County Medical Services Program. That program provides health services to the poor in the mostly rural, sparsely populated counties.

The program could begin next year. Several thousand people are expected to enroll.

Forty-seven of California’s 58 counties have now agreed to provide low-cost medical coverage to eligible people regardless of their immigration status.

Immigrants who are in the state illegally now comprise the single biggest group of California’s uninsured.

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a state budget that expands Medi-Cal coverage to low-income children regardless of their legal status.