Starting in April, an estimated 2-3 million people could be dropped from Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income people.
For three years during COVID, terminations were halted, but Congress recently voted to de-link the program from the Public Health Emergency. So California will have 14 months to re-evaluate eligibility for almost 15 million people.
Tiffany Huyenh-Cho, senior staff attorney for the nonprofit Justice in Aging, said people who do not respond to the renewal packet will lose coverage.
“Lots of individuals might have moved, might have had a change in income or a change in household size, or a new job or lost their job,” Huyenh-Cho observed. “It is really important to update contact information such as addresses and phone numbers with the county office.”
The state has an ambassador program to educate community health workers on the resumption of renewals and about the unwinding of the public health emergency, which is expected to end sometime this spring.
Huyenh-Cho noted Justice in Aging is also part of the public education campaign to make sure people who meet the income requirements don’t fall off the rolls.
“Now, individuals can be terminated from Medi-Cal benefits due to an increase in income or an increase in assets for older adults that are subject to the asset test,” Huyenh-Cho explained.
Last year, California increased the limit on assets a single older person can have and still qualify for Medi-Cal, changing the amount from $2,000 to $130,000.
Photo Caption: The requirement for the state to maintain continuous Medi-Cal health insurance coverage regardless of eligibility will end March 31. Photo Credit: Lordn / Adobestock