As of December 31, 2014, between 40,000 and 70,000 people in California who were receiving subsidized health care coverage under Covered California plans will be dropped from their plans as a result of a reduction in their incomes identified during Covered California's renewal process. Their lower incomes mean they now appear to be Medi-Cal eligible and the cases must be worked by counties to be brought into the Medi-Cal program. Covered California and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) are the lead agencies in notifying consumers of any plan changes.
Covered California and DHCS will be sending notices to the affected population. The timing of the notices is such that individuals may be receiving notices just days before the effective dates (December 31, 2014 for Covered California plans and January 1, 2015 the start date for Medi-Cal coverage). Some consumers will be confused by the change and some may experience a coverage gap. This will create questions from consumers and thereby will increase workload for local county eligibility workers. Mendocino County HHSA is anticipating a list of people transitioning in coverage from Covered California to Medi-Cal, based on a reduction in their household income. Most individuals will automatically enroll in temporary Medi-Cal to bridge this transition. County staff will contact families to initiate their transition to the correct ongoing Medi-Cal coverage. There are a few cases in which the family/individual may have started their transition prior to January 1, 2015, but not completed the process. For these few individuals, their coverage will not be active on January 1, 2015. Once their application is completed authorized benefits will begin retroactively to the month of application. Staff will be checking the lists provided by the State to assist in ensuring that individuals do not get left out of the transition.
Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) will be providing an update on February 3, 2015 to the Board of Supervisors on the Partnership Health Plan (PHP) and Medi-Cal expansion in our county. The update will include a short presentation by PHP staff and will focus on projects and data specific to our county and will also include an update on the Medi-Cal back log issue as well as a discussion of increasing advocacy on the State level to take initiative on expanding health care coverage choices available in California, especially in rural communities and provide support to counties. Mendocino County Health & Human Services Agency Press Release