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Medi-Cal: A Necessary Service Helping Californians

Medi Cal a necessary service that helps Californians
Medi Cal a necessary service for the population, a year ago, the California Department of Health Services (DHCS) launched an annual, federally mandated initiative to redetermine eligibility for Medicaid, called Medi-Cal in California.

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People who were enrolled in Medi-Cal have lost their medical services due to lack of renewal, however, efforts to reach all of California have not stopped and efforts are made to make health available to all residents.

The state's goal has been, as possible, to keep as many people enrolled, at a time when many other states were using “the great relaxation” to purge their Medicaid rolls.

Yingjia Huang, deputy assistant director of Health Care Benefits and Eligibility (HCBE), California Department of Health Care Services, explained during a briefing held by Ethnic Media Services that the state's goal has been to keep as many people enrolled as possible, and to dramatically expand Medical's reach. 

He highlighted that there was a cancellation rate of enrollment of approximately 21 percent in the medical program each month and approximately 1 million people renewed. Fortunately, in December the renewal procedures were expedited, through computer systems; Thus, the disaffiliation rate was reduced by 20 percent and continues to decrease with all the automation implemented.

In addition, he explained that in January the expansion was implemented for undocumented people and those between 49 and 60 years old.

Regardless of immigration status, the transition procedures were carried out for around 700,000 people from limited benefits to full-scope benefits.

Despite the large number of members that have been achieved, there is still a long list of people who have been left out for not completing their corresponding procedures, therefore, one of the biggest obstacles is a very thick package of papers that seems very complicated.

But, what should I fill out? What information should I really update? It can be very confusing for first-timers and even those who have been on the program because of the way the questions are asked.

?So we created quite a few educational videos, as well as instructions in all languages, shared with the community to help guide our medical members in terms of completing it and where to return the package, and even just sharing how there are various ways that you can do your renewal online or by phone? Huang commented.

When asked if people were enrolled, how could they re-enroll if they are actually eligible? Huang responded that there are 90 days after the expiration date. 

In the event of needing the service and not having the complete procedure, people should not think that they do not have any medical support, since there is a reimbursement process for the beneficiary.

Vilma Champion, Director of Managed Care and Enrollment at North Valley Health Corporation (EVHC), a federally qualified health center providing primary care services to the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys in Los Angeles County, explained that Its focus is to empower health centers, remain at the forefront of healthcare transformation, promote health equity, and advocate for the most vulnerable communities.

?Medical is becoming a vital program for the health and well-being of the communities we serve now that it has expanded coverage from 20 percent to 60 percent in the 49-year-old adult sector, regardless of citizenship and immigration status, bringing us closer to medical care for all? Champion commented.

He added that it is expected to provide primary and preventive services to more than 6,000 newly eligible medical patients, who will have access to a network of specialists and private hospitals.

Since the beginning of the cancellation period, NVHC has helped more than 5,000 patients submit their renewal packages and has focused on communication strategies.

?Have you reviewed the resources made available by the DHCS toolkits. We are making messages, printed materials, graphics and videos available for our use; "Do we communicate these important messages through the use of social media, targeted text message outreach campaigns, and renewal events," Champion added.

Mr. Fitzgerald Graves is enrolled in Medi-Cal and is part of the Kern County African American Network; He explained one of the challenges he noticed when changing medical services and facing misinformation, but understood that everyone is adopting other forms of coverage.

She discussed the experience with her daughter of being pregnant and not being sure of medical service. She looked for the easiest and simplest thing without having adequate care, which put the life of her son and baby at risk. When things got worse, they had the support and correct information that showed them that they have the right to adequate medical service. and quality.

?My daughter expressed concern to me because she felt that no real report had been made with these doctors, so on January 30 of last year, we lost our grandson,? she said.

From that fact, he learned that one must have clarity in the information about the coverage that each one has; If they had had the information they know today, they surely would not have lost their baby. 

?She would have selected a specific gynecologist or something, someone who would have done things differently; Now I tried to get her to use this new registration as a tool to receive therapy and advice?, he concluded. 

Dara Montejo Chel, is the daughter of a sick mother, undocumented immigrants from Mexico; She commented that she did not have much information about Medi-Cal, when her mother got sick she did not want to use the ambulance service for fear of the high costs and not having money to pay, but later the doctors guided her to explain to her about their services and that she had the right, when everything was clearer she was calmer.

Experts agree that medical service is necessary for the entire population, however, there is still much to be done to cover more Californians, and mainly inform about the corresponding services, not wait until bad circumstances reach families and have What to learn during an illness or after a tragedy

You may be interested in: Medi-Cal: New opportunities to bring quality health care to communities

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