Healthcare coverage for the over 15 million Californians currently on Medi-Cal will be up for renewal over the next year and Covered California wants to make sure everyone takes the right steps to stay insured.
The eligibility of Californians enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal program has not been reviewed since 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. In April, with the end of the federal continuous coverage requirement, Medi-Cal resumed the renewal process for its more than 15 million members, and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), which oversees the Medi-Cal program, estimates between 2 and 3 million Californians will no longer be eligible for coverage. As this process continues into 2024, Covered California is here to help enroll eligible Californians transitioning out of Medi-Cal.
“Covered California is working closely with DHCS to help keep Californians who lose their Medi-Cal coverage enrolled in quality, affordable coverage and to support them every step of the way,” said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. “While everyone’s renewal date is different, there are important steps that Medi-Cal members can take now to keep themselves and their families covered.”
Current Medi-Cal members should update their contact information if it has changed in the last three years by logging in to their online account through BenefitsCal.com or MyBenefitsCalWIN.org. Members can also contact their local Medi-Cal office or visit KeepMedi-CalCoverage.org to learn how to get started.
While many Californians no longer eligible for Medi-Cal will transition to other forms of health insurance, such as coverage offered through their job or a family member’s employer, others will be eligible for coverage through Covered California, and they may be eligible to receive financial help to lower the cost of their coverage.
Covered California offers quality health plans, all of which provide many of the same benefits and services as Medi-Cal, including free preventive care and screenings, doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital stays, behavioral health care, and more.
Based on pre-pandemic trends, nearly half of the consumers who transition from Medi-Cal to Covered California will be able to get quality coverage at little to no cost. Covered California is the only place Californians can go to receive financial help to make their health coverage more affordable. Right now, 90 percent of Covered California’s 1.7 million enrollees receive financial help, with over a million consumers paying $10 or less per month for their health insurance.
“We know how much Medi-Cal members value their health coverage, so we want to make sure they know what their options are if they no longer qualify for Medi-Cal,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass. “Through Covered California, many will continue to have access to the comprehensive care they need and deserve.”
Covered California and DHCS have been working together to ensure that the process of transitioning to Covered California will be as simple as possible. Over the next 12 months, Covered California will reach out to eligible consumers through email, direct mail, and text messaging to let them know they can stay insured through Covered California.
Covered California will automatically select a plan for the consumer that provides the most financial help. Consumers will need to confirm their plan selection for their new coverage and make their first payment, if required, or opt-out.
Eligible consumers will also be able to choose a different plan or be connected to someone who can help them at any point in the enrollment process. Multilingual assistance, including in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Punjabi and Hindi is available online, over the phone, or in-person from one of the more than 11,000 Covered California enrollment partners embedded in communities across the state and the help is always free and confidential.
“Keep an eye out for these messages and mailings to make sure you stay covered,” Altman said. “Your health depends on it.”