Covered California Launches Statewide Push to Help Californians Stay Covered if They Lose Their Medi-Cal Eligibility
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California launched a virtual media tour on Wednesday to spread the word about the upcoming Medi-Cal to Covered California Enrollment Program and how it will help keep Californians covered.
With the end of the federal continuous coverage requirement, Medi-Cal in April resumed the renewal process for its more than 15 million members, and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) estimates between 2 and 3 million people will no longer be eligible for coverage. As this process continues over the next year, Covered California stands ready to 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.”
We’ll Keep You Covered
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 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 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.
“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.”
Many Medi-Cal Members Will Be Able to Enroll in Covered California at No Cost
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 coverage more affordable. Right now, 90 percent of Covered California’s 1.7 million enrollees receive financial help, with many people paying $10 or less per month for their health insurance.
To simplify the process for eligible consumers, Covered California and Medi-Cal will collectively provide personalized information about how to maintain coverage through Covered California. For eligible transitioning consumers, Covered California will automatically select a plan for the consumer that provides the most financial help.
Consumers will need to confirm their Covered California plan selection in order for their new coverage to take effect.
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 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.
Check Your Mail and Respond Quickly to Keep Your Coverage
DHCS and Covered California are collaborating to implement Senate Bill (SB) 260 (Chapter 845, Statutes of 2019), which authorizes Covered California to enroll individuals in a qualified health plan when they lose Medi-Cal coverage and gain eligibility for financial assistance through Covered California. Consumers who have gone through the Medi-Cal renewal process and are no longer eligible for Medi-Cal have already started receiving information in the mail on their new Covered California plan. These packets will continue to go out each month until all Medi-Cal renewals have been processed.
Covered California is urging Medi-Cal members to check their mail and respond quickly by either confirming their new plan, changing their plan, or opting out of coverage.
“Spread the word, if you or someone you know may be losing their Medi-Cal coverage, to make sure they check their mail for a notice entitled, Stay Covered with Covered California,” Altman said. “If you receive this notice, Covered California needs to hear from you right away in order to make sure you do not have a gap in health coverage.”
New Ad Campaign to Reach California’s Diverse Population
Covered California also launched a new ad campaign to educate consumers and make sure they understand how they can stay insured. The campaign highlights how Covered California will help consumers through every step of their transition, and provide quality coverage, at low or no cost for many. The videos have been produced in a variety of languages, including:
- English: https://youtu.be/3cgk-2bh_tk
- Spanish: https://youtu.be/wUdLSw91DoA
- Mandarin: https://youtu.be/pFE4GKTKZp8
- Cantonese: https://youtu.be/QqNm0h458Po
- Korean: https://youtu.be/qDAMTBJxRNM
- Vietnamese: https://youtu.be/il8jDy7e3RU
In addition, Covered California created radio, digital, and social media ads, as well as educational videos, that walk consumers through the process of how to create an online account and make their choice of coverage options.
At the end of June, Covered California will reach out to eligible consumers directly through email, direct mail, and text messaging.
This campaign was developed in coordination with DHCS and their extensive efforts to reach Medi-Cal members throughout the renewal process.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace, where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from top insurance companies. Covered California is the only place where individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may qualify for the low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal program.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the health insurance marketplace work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.