Covered Calif. Shifts Some Enrollees to Medi-Cal After Income Checks

California Healthline   ·   Link to Article

As Covered California checks enrollees' incomes to verify eligibility for health coverage and subsidies, some state residents are being abruptly switched from private coverage to Medi-Cal or are losing health coverage altogether, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.

Officials with the state exchange said they are unsure how many individuals are being affected by such changes.

Covered California spokesperson Dana Howard said income verifications and eligibility updates will take place "continually" and could cause individuals' coverage to change.

For example, he said that the exchange has adjusted its income eligibility benchmarks after the federal government changed its poverty scale. As a result, residents might be switched into Medi-Cal from private insurance plans.

Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) said he will call a hearing on Sept. 23 to examine such changes and how coverage interruptions can be avoided.

Pan said, "Implementing the Affordable Care Act, clearly it's not something that just stops at the end of open enrollment. There are ongoing issues."

He added, "Covered California is working on that, but we need ... to be sure that people don't have interruption in their coverage"