State Delays Enforcing Proof-of-Citizenship Law
California has yet to comply with a new federal law that requires proof of citizenship to apply or re-enroll in Medicaid, the Los Angeles Times reports. If the state does not comply with the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, it could face a federal audit and possible loss of Medi-Cal funding.
Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, provides health coverage for about seven million California residents.
Stan Rosenstein, a state Department of Health Services official, said the state is reviewing concerns that county officials and health care providers raised about the law before issuing regulations for counties to follow in enforcing the law. Rosenstein did not say when the regulations would be issued but noted that about 20 other states also have not yet implemented the law.
Some health care officials are concerned that Medi-Cal beneficiaries will have difficulty locating or affording original birth certificates or other documents to prove their citizenship, potentially deterring them from receiving health care services.
California currently verifies a Medi-Cal applicant's Social Security number with the federal government (Lin II, Los Angeles Times, 11/17).