Low-Income Health Program

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Medi-Cal Enrollment Surging Via Covered California

(David McNew/Getty Images)

(David McNew/Getty Images)

David Gorn, California Healthline

The Department of Health Care Services released enrollment numbers last week 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 percent 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. Continue reading

California Sends Incorrect Information to 246,000 Low-Income Patients

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By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

California has mistakenly sent letters to 246,000 low-income residents, warning they may need to find new doctors next year under the state’s newly expanded Medicaid program.

The error frustrated counties and community health centers which have repeatedly assured patients they can keep their providers when the Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014. The patients are part of the state’s “bridge to reform” program, which was designed to cover uninsured, poor Californians until they became eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid.

Bridge to reform launched in 2011 and more than 600,000 people across the state enrolled in county-based health coverage. Many people formed relationships with doctors and started seeking regular care. But county and clinic administrators said the incorrect information in the mailing this month has put the counties’ efforts in jeopardy.

The mix-up occurred as people are scrambling to figure out how the health law impacts them, and as private policy holders have been receiving letters canceling their insurance plans. Continue reading