California Department of Health Care Services has received permission from the federal government to waive asset verifications or tests for individuals enrolled in non-MAGI Medi-Cal through the end of 2023. As California will remove any asset limitation in 2024 for most non-MAGI Medi-Cal programs, the waiver will help some individuals from bouncing in and out of Medi-Cal coverage.
Asset Test Suspended During Covid-19
Under the federal Covid-19 Public Health Emergency regulations, Medi-Cal was instructed not to terminate beneficiaries under most circumstances. This meant that if a non-MAGI Medi-Cal beneficiary had an increase in assets such as saving accounts, they retained their eligibility for Medi-Cal programs.
The federal Public Health Emergency is set to cease in May of 2023. Medi-Cal must return to normal operations where income and assets are reviewed for most non-MAGI Medi-Cal programs. The MAGI Medi-Cal applies to individuals, families and children who enroll through Covered California. Asset verification or limits has never been a part of MAGI Medi-Cal.
California Changes Asset Limits For Medi-Cal
However, California increased the asset limit to $130,000 for non-MAGI Medi-Cal in 2023 and beginning in 2024 assets will not be part of the non-MAGI Medi-Cal eligibility equation. The California Department of Health Care Services, the agency that manages Medi-Cal programs, realized that returning to normal operation would make some non-MAGI Medi-Cal beneficiaries ineligible for the health insurance program for some part of 2023 because their assets had increased.
Then in 2024, those same individuals who had been kick-off of non-MAGI Medi-Cal would be eligible as the asset limitation will be removed. In order to avoid some people bouncing back and forth between Medi-Cal and private health insurance, the Department of Health Care Services applied for a waiver to review the assets of the non-MAGI Medi-Cal beneficiaries through the end of 2023. This waiver was granted by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS.)
From the All County Welfare Directors Letter No.: I23-10
With the time-limited authority to renew eligibility for Non-MAGI individuals, CEWs can temporarily complete the property determination without requesting verification for Non-MAGI renewals or at reported change in circumstance, when:
• Individuals have asset information available in the case record, disregarding any increases in assets since their most recent determination, or
• Individuals self-attested to no assets at application or at their most recent redetermination.
Under this authority, CEWs [County Eligibility Workers] must redetermine eligibility using available property information already in the case file or from their last eligibility determination. If no assets were reported at application or their most recent redetermination, CEWs must redetermine eligibility without requesting verification and take no further action on the case until the beneficiary’s next redetermination.
For example, if a Non-MAGI individual were to submit the annual renewal packet without property or asset verifications, the CEW would process the renewal using the available property information in the case file. Additionally, if a Non-MAGI individual would report new assets at renewal or at change in circumstance, CEWs would disregard the increase or change in assets and continue to process the redetermination without requesting property or asset verifications.