April 11, 2022
In the largest effort of its kind, across the country, Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will soon begin the process of redetermining eligibility for about 85 million people who use these programs to access the health care they need. This large, complex effort will be triggered by the official end of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the end of the federal Medicaid continuous coverage requirement that was implemented as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
As California plans for the return of normal Medi-Cal eligibility operations, approximately 14.5 million beneficiaries in our state will need to have their eligibility for coverage redetermined. At the end of the public health emergency, counties will redetermine Medi-Cal eligibility for all beneficiaries based on their next annual renewal date (done on a rolling basis and not all at once). As a result of that process, two to three million beneficiaries could no longer be eligible for Medi-Cal. Those no longer eligible for Medi-Cal may qualify for tax subsidies that allow them to buy affordable Covered California coverage.
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has been actively preparing for this unprecedented event for many months, and has implemented a two-phased communication campaign to reach beneficiaries with messages across multiple channels using trusted partners called DHCS Coverage Ambassadors. DHCS is urging physicians, clinics, and other community stakeholders to sign up to serve as DHCS Coverage Ambassadors.
DHCS recently launched a customizable Medi-Cal Continuous Coverage toolkit and webpage to help trusted entities and individuals act as DHCS Coverage Ambassadors to provide critical information to beneficiaries and to help preserve health coverage for millions. The toolkit includes social media, call scripts, noticing, and website banners.
During Phase 1, trusted entities and individuals will encourage beneficiaries to update their contact information with their local county offices, if they have not done so already, so they can be contacted with important information about keeping their Medi-Cal benefits.
Phase 2 will encourage beneficiaries to continue to update contact information, report any changes in circumstances, as well as check for upcoming renewal packets that may come through regular mail for cases that could not be renewed using information the local county office has available. Phase 2 will begin 60 days prior to the end of the public health emergency.
For more information and to sign up, click here.