Medi-Cal a Hidden Enrollment Success

by David Gorn

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The Department of Health Care Services last week released enrollment numbers for Medi-Cal-eligible Californians who initially contacted the Covered California health benefit exchange.

The department said 143,608 people will likely receive Medi-Cal coverage as a result of contacting Covered California.

That's about 40% of all applications completed through the exchange, said Anthony Cava, a spokesperson for DHCS.

"We are very pleased with this surge of interest and the momentum we are seeing in consumer awareness," Cava said in a written statement.

The new Medi-Cal beneficiaries were generated between Oct. 1 and Nov. 20. The number is likely to increase substantially in the roughly four months before the enrollment period ends Mar. 31, 2014.

Medi-Cal currently covers 8.5 million Californians, about 22% of the state's population. State health officials estimated one million to two million newly eligible Californians will sign up for Medi-Cal under the expansion, which is federally funded in full for the first two years. About 600,000 of those newly eligible are currently enrolled in the Low Income Health Program, and will make the switch to Medi-Cal when the expansion starts in 2014.  

Not all Californians eligible for Medicaid sign up for Medi-Cal and that's where the increased attention and visibility from the exchange could make a big difference, Cava said.  

"DHCS is committed, along with its partner, Covered California to ensure that those who are uninsured and eligible can take advantage of the opportunity to gain health coverage through Medi-Cal or a Covered California health plan," Cava said.

Andrew Mayer
Really tired of the vicious nay sayers and their nit picky talking points, that are usually lies or exaggerations. Sick of the attitude that we shouldn't help people get health care. Done with the GOP posters and their hand wringing nonsense. I am very happy we finally, after at least 100 years of special interests blocking health care access, after 50 years of the preexisting condition scam, we finally have good benefits and affordable care along with reasonable regulation from the ACA.
Carol Frandsen
Good luck finding a doctor. Wait until all the people try.
Richard Rider
And at the end of the two year period where the feds pay for the millions of new California Medi-Cal recipients, our state will start paying for this MASSIVE new cost by . . . ? Why does this article not touch on this crucial aspect? Another WONDERFUL government program that somehow doesn't have to be budgeted for. Amazing. But not unexpected.

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