Last week, state officials said they’re planning to get a message out to families that have coverage both in Medi-Cal and Covered California — that the renewal notices from the exchange are not the same as Medi-Cal renewal notices.Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.
“Estimates are that there’s about a 20% overlap, where parents are in Covered California and their children are eligible for Medi-Cal,” said Rene Mollow, deputy director of health care benefits and eligibility at the Department of Health Care Services, which oversees the Medi-Cal program.
Mollow said the department is a little concerned those parents might get the renewal notices from Covered California and figure they’ve also renewed their Medi-Cal eligibility, and that’s not correct.
“While this renewal process is being targeted by Covered California, we want to make sure people understand that, for Medi-Cal, the renewals will be initiated by the counties,” she said.
Before Medi-Cal expansion started, roughly 8 million Californians were enrolled in the program, and those enrollees need to renew their Medi-Cal coverage this year, as they need to do every year. That process is done at the county level, Mollow said.
“Medi-Cal renewals are always done at the county level,” Mollow said. “Many people think they’re supposed to do something with their Medi-Cal renewal when they get a notice from Covered Cal, but until they hear from the counties, they don’t need to do anything.”
Mollow said the department will be working on getting that idea across to enrollees in the coming weeks, making sure people understand that the open enrollment period for Covered California doesn’t apply to Medi-Cal.
“In terms of messaging, we have been saying that Medi-Cal is open 365 days a year,” Mollow said.