Millions of Californians could potentially lose medical coverage under Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, by April when a COVID-era policy expires.
The Department of Health and Human Services extended the COVID-19 public health emergency to April 11; however, the “continuous enrollment” pandemic era policy for Medi-Cal ends on March 31. The deadline came from a budget bill Congress passed in December, NPR reported.
In California, 15.2 million people, an unprecedented level of Medi-Cal recipients, have benefited from the “continuous enrollment policy” since March 2020, according to documents from the Department of Health Care Services.
Many residents are expected to lose their benefits because they haven’t had to complete the Medi-Cal renewal of eligibility forms since the “continuous enrollment” policy has been in place.
“As such, there is an inherent risk that eligible individuals may lose coverage once the continuous coverage requirement expires because they have a new address or other contact information that may not have been updated since their last completed renewal, in most cases before the public health order,” documents from the Department of Health Care Services said.
These forms are typically mailed out to Medi-Cal beneficiaries, but experts have stated that the number of people who receive and return the forms is low.
This is what Southern California residents should do to keep their Medi-Cal benefits active:
- Update your contact information
To find out how to update your information online, visit this website.
- Sign up for general updates regarding Medi-Cal renewals.
- Check your mailbox
Counties will also send out a letter regarding your Medi-Cal eligibility. A renewal form may also be sent out. If you receive that form, update your information on the phone, in-person, online, or by returning the form via mail.
Here is a list of county offices across California that can assist with Medi-Cal renewals for those who want to update their information in person.