L.A. Care’s systemic failure to timely process prior authorizations for health care services delayed members’ access to medically necessary health care services and had a detrimental impact on its members. Examples of member harm caused by authorization delays include a cancer patient’s health deteriorating, a plan member suffering extreme pain for over two weeks, and another cancer patient given a prognosis of six to nine months to live who disenrolled from L.A. Care because of treatment delays.
Posts related to California's Medi-Cal program, specifically MAGI based, income eligibility, enrollment, costs, children, Covered California.
For a single adult, the monthly Medi-Cal income was $1,482. In 2022, the monthly income will increase to $1,564. In other words, an adult can earn up to $1,564 per month and still qualify for no cost Medi-Cal. MAGI Medi-Cal annual amounts for a single adult increased to $18,755, from $17,775 in 2021, for a single adult.
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the agency that manages the county based Medi-Cal system, has worked, and struggled, to efficiently determine MAGI Medi-Cal eligibility from the income section of the Covered California application. In a February 19, 2021, All County Welfare Directors letter, No. 21-04, DHCS outlined some of the changes to Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) calculations for MAGI Medi-Cal eligibility determinations.
The new law requires Covered California to automatically enroll individuals who have been terminated from Medi-Cal into the lowest cost Silver plan in the person’s region. The automatic enrollment is meant to prevent a gap from when an individual or family is terminated from Medi-Cal to when they enroll in a new health plan.
Individuals and families who enrolled in health insurance through Covered California for plan year 2021 were determined eligible for any federal or California premium assistance based on 2020 FPL numbers. Even if the new FPLs are higher than the estimated income, the enrollment and subsidies will continue. However, if you make change to your application during the year, the new FPLs will apply and could trigger Medi-Cal eligibility.
California policy states that Disaster and Emergency assistance payments received from federal, state, or local government agencies is exempt from both Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) and non-MAGI Medi-Cal programs. Consequently, county Welfare Directors have been directed to disregard the LWA when making income eligibility determinations. However, for Covered California, the LWA money is counted as taxable income for eligibility and calculation of the monthly Advance Premium Tax Credit subsidy (federal) and the California Premium subsidy.
Covered California doesn’t administer or enroll you into a MAGI Medi-Cal health plan. Through the Covered California income section where you enter you monthly income, the Covered California application system determines if you or your dependents are eligible for MAGI Medi-Cal. If your income indicates you are eligible for MAGI Medi-Cal in the Covered California system, that information is pushed over to the Department of Health Care Services and your county social services office.
Covered California screens for Medi-Cal eligibility based on your monthly income, not annual income. Therefore, it is imperative, that when you are reporting a change to your income that the monthly income be accurate relative to published 138% of federal poverty level for adults and 266% for children.
Covered California has released a document explaining how the Coronavirus aid payments count as income for individuals and families. What could be a real issue for many mixed households (adults in Covered California and children on MAGI Medi-Cal) is that some of the extra unemployment benefits will be counted differently for the purposes of household income between the two agencies.
To allow for counties to prioritize processing of access to care issues, and concentrate staffing resources where needed during this public health crisis, the county shall stop processing annual renewals immediately and may exceed the timeliness standard for all administrative processing of Medi-Cal or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) redeterminations. The delay shall be effective for 90 days from the date of this MEDIL.