Many Newly Insured California Residents Unaware of Benefits
Many individuals who are newly enrolled in Covered California health plans or Medi-Cal are experiencing a "knowledge gap" in how to use their new coverage, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
For instance, health care providers have reported new enrollees contacting them with questions about:
- Which providers are included in their care networks; and
- What type of plan they are enrolled in.
Some individuals might not be aware that their health plan only covers certain doctors, and they could end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for using out-of-network providers.
In addition, some consumers who have used the emergency department as their primary source of care in the past might be unaware that their new health plans cover preventive care services.
Efforts To Educate New Enrollees
Community groups across California and officials with the state health insurance exchange are working to inform new enrollees about their health care services options.
Covered California officials said educating the newly insured is a large part of the exchange's plan going forward.
In addition, staff members at community clinics are assisting consumers who have questions and walking them through the steps of getting care. For example, St. John's Well Child and Family Center in Los Angeles has begun calling Medi-Cal beneficiaries who have not yet made their first doctor visit (Florido, "KPCC News," KPCC, 5/7).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.