Health Net To Serve as Commercial Medi-Cal Health Plan in Stanislaus County
The Department of Health Services Thursday announced that Health Net has won a five-year contract to provide Medi-Cal services in Stanislaus County starting early next year, the Modesto Bee reports. Residents of Stanislaus County, which has been without a commercial Medi-Cal plan since OMNI Health withdrew from the market four years ago, are supposed to have a choice of two Medi-Cal plans, according to state mandate; one plan is to be organized and administered locally, and the other is to be administered by a commercial health plan. Next year, some 75% of the nearly 100,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries in Stanislaus County will have a choice between Health Net and BlueCross of California, which administers the local plan. The remaining 25% of Medi-Cal beneficiaries are eligible for Medi-Cal's fee-for-service plan and thus "don't have a choice," the Bee reports. The Health Net and Blue Cross plans, which will cover standard-level Medi-Cal services such as examinations, hospitalizations, outpatient surgery and prenatal and newborn care, will differ in their choice of physicians and some educational services, according to Kathy Harwell, a county social services manager. Health Net President Chris Wing said he is pleased with the agreement, and Dave Jones, a spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency said that he believes "having a robust, two-plan model will help improve health access for Medi-Cal patients" (Carlson, Sacramento Bee, 9/26).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.