CHA Releases Guide for Hospitals To Help Patients Obtain Insurance
The California Hospital Association has released a guidebook that provides hospitals with step-by-step instructions on how to enroll uninsured patients in health coverage through Medi-Cal or the state health insurance exchange, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The manual was funded by the American Hospital Association and prepared by Kaufman, Hall & Associates, a consulting firm (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/23).
Background on Medi-Cal Expansion
Under the Affordable Care Act, a state expansion of Medi-Cal will allow individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or $15,415 annually, to gain coverage.
The federal government will fund the expansion for the first few years, according to the ACA (California Healthline, 6/28).
Background on Exchange
The exchange -- called Covered California -- primarily will serve individuals and small businesses.
Supporters hope that the exchange will function similarly to websites like Amazon and Expedia, allowing users to choose among various health plans through an easily navigable online store.
The exchange is expected to open for registration in October, and an estimated five million people will purchase plans through the exchange in 2014 (California Healthline, 7/16).
Details of Manual
CHA estimates that up to 70% of individuals gaining coverage under the Medi-Cal expansion and the exchange will need help enrolling (McLeod/Kemp, CHA release, 7/11).
The guide includes information on how hospitals can participate in:
- Covered California's Enrollment Assistance Program; and
- The new California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System.
It also includes information about:
- Training; and
- Information systems (Sacramento Business Journal, 7/23).
According to the manual, health care providers can register as a "certified enrollment entity" and provide enrollment assistance to patients at:
- Admitting desks;
- Emergency departments;
- Birthing centers; and
- Urgent care centers (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 7/23).
CHA has sent the guide to the CEOs and CFOs of CHA member hospitals. Other members can access the manual online and purchase additional copies.
In addition, CHA is offering a webinar with guidance for hospitals on how to enroll uninsured patients in coverage.
The webinar is scheduled for July 30 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (CHA release, 7/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.