State Seeks Comment on Proof-of-Citizenship Guidelines
State health officials have asked county welfare directors for comments on draft guidelines for federal proof-of-citizenship rules for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. Medi-Cal is the state's Medicaid program.
The law, which took effect July 1, requires individuals to provide proof of citizenship -- such as a passport, birth certificate or citizenship papers -- when applying for or renewing Medi-Cal benefits. State regulators can specify which types of documents satisfy the requirement.
California's draft guidelines recommend that counties first seek primary documents such as passports or citizenship papers but would allow individuals to present other documents, including insurance policies, if they are supported by a report card, driver's license or other paperwork.
Stan Rosenstein, a deputy director at the Department of Health Services, said, "There will be a series of alternate documents they can provide, including affidavits from people who know them."
The final guidelines were slated to be released in August but instead will be released this fall, Rosenstein said.
Current Medi-Cal beneficiaries will be able to remain in the program as long as they make a "good faith effort" to provide the necessary documents, the Business Journal reports. Those applying to the program for the first time must provide the required documentation before they can begin receiving benefits.
California currently verifies the Social Security numbers of Medi-Cal applicants, which already might reduce the possibility of undocumented immigrants receiving benefits, according to the Business Journal (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 9/1).