MEDI-CAL: 120,000 Beneficiaries Lost In Computer Glitch
State health officials confirmed Friday that a "health contractor that enrolls Medi-Cal clients in California health plans lost track of 120,000 of them," the Contra Costa Times reports. The contractor, Virginia-based Maximus, allegedly put the names "in its computer and left them in limbo." The problem "affects 12 of the state's largest counties with managed care plans." As a result of the "gitch," many Medi-Cal-eligible low-income residents are not receiving benefits. It also means that the managed care plans organized by the counties have lost both potential enrollees and the Medi-Cal dollars that accompany them. "This could help explain why the number of Medi-Cal enrollees has been getting smaller," said Milt Camhi, executive director of the Contra Costa Health Plan. In addition to losing "tens of millions of dollars in Medi-Cal funds," the county-sponsored plans "could lose another way," because "[i]f people otherwise eligible for Medi-Cal show up as uninsured patients, the law requires counties to treat them and pick up the cost." Counties with more established programs, such as Contra Costa, stand to lose more as their plans are currently operational "and have space for more Medi-Cal patients," while counties like Los Angeles, which are just starting their programs, may be impacted less (Spears, 3/7).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.