MEDI-CAL: State Alters Application Process to Increase Access
As part of a "statewide effort to ensure access to health care," Medi-Cal will no longer require face-to-face application interviews and instead will allow individuals to request mail-in applications, the Modesto Bee reports. With the change, the state hopes to ease the Medi-Cal application process for the disabled and those with transportation difficulties, for whom in-person applications serve as a barrier to enrollment. Also, the application will be shortened -- to six pages from 13 -- and case workers will follow up on mailings either through home visits or telephone calls to ensure that clients understand the form. Case workers will contact applicants every five days until the completed form is returned to Medi-Cal offices. Given the increased focus on outreach, the new policy will not reduce Medi-Cal costs, but Medi-Cal Manager Kathy Harwell explained that the change is not about money, but rather "about increasing access." The policy takes effect July 3 (McCray, 6/28).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.