Medi-Cal Waiver Might Boost Enrollment by Nearly 400K by 2013
The federal Medi-Cal waiver that California received last year could extend coverage to nearly 400,000 individuals over the next two years, according to enrollment plans filed with the state and interviews with officials, Payers & Providers reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Most local Medi-Cal plans will begin enrolling individuals later this year. The plans are expected to see an increase in enrollment over the next few years until 2014, when provisions of the federal health reform law will expand Medicaid and offer subsidized coverage through state health insurance exchanges.
Applications filed with the Department of Health Care Services suggest that the enrollment of new Medi-Cal beneficiaries could peak at 395,627 in 2013.
The figure includes about 321,000 beneficiaries who are expected to enroll through the 24 counties and two non-county agencies that filed applications to participate in the waiver. The two non-county agencies are:
- The California Rural Health Indian Board, which expects to enroll about 56,000 residents; and
- The Pasadena Public Health Department, which expects to enroll about 4,000 residents.
About 74,000 new beneficiaries are expected to enroll through the County Medical Services Program, which represents the remaining 34 counties in California.
Participating counties and agencies can leverage two major components of the Medi-Cal waiver to enroll new beneficiaries.
Enrollment through the Medicaid Coverage Expansion program will accept residents with annual incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level and provide unlimited federal matching funds.Â This portion of the waiver is expected to cover aÂ maximum of aboutÂ 364,725 new beneficiaries.
Nine counties are participating in the Health Care Coverage Initiative component of the waiver, which will enroll residents with annual incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level. About $600 million in federal funding is available for this segment of the waiver, which is expected to enroll about 30,902 beneficiaries (Payers & Providers, 3/31).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.