Some Calif. Counties Struggling To Process Medi-Cal Applications
Some California counties were unprepared for an influx of applicants for Medi-Cal -- California's Medicaid program -- after the state expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act, HealthyCal reports. As a result, the counties now are dealing with a backlog of applications.
Currently, more than 8 million California residents are enrolled in Medi-Cal.
Under the ACA, an additional 1.4 million California residents will qualify for Medi-Cal coverage, according to the state Department of Health Services.
Details of Backlog in Sonoma County
Sonoma County is one area in California that has faced a flood of Medi-Cal applicants in recent months.
Joy Thomas, communications and outreach manager at the county's Human Services Department, said Sonoma has not yet processed nearly 9,000 Medi-Cal applications from residents newly eligible for the program.
Thomas added that the backlog has persisted even though the county has hired 75 new call center employees and expanded its service center.
Despite the backlog, Sonoma still is working to reach uninsured residents and educate them about their coverage options under the ACA.
The county is aiming by the end of this year to enroll 75% of the county's 18,000 previously uninsured residents. In addition, about 18,000 county residents who once had private health coverage now qualify for Medi-Cal, according to HealthyCal (Clark, HealthyCal, 3/10).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.