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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.


Medi-Cal Application Lost?

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Question: My wife and I have been covered on a Blue Shield Obamacare plan since January 1st. Our two kids are supposed to be on Medi-Cal but we haven’t gotten anything from them yet. We called the county office, but they are no help at all. Should we apply again before the deadline on April 15th?

Answer: No. I recommend against applying again. It could really mess things up for you at this point. Your children’s MediCal application is probably not lost. About 800,000 people who applied for Medi-Cal coverage through Covered California still are awaiting approval because of software glitches. State officials say the backlog of Medi-Cal applications was caused by problems with a system that was supposed to link county and state computers to confirm applicants’ eligibility for the program. Even though the glitches have been fixed, workers at the county social services offices face a large backlog of applications. Unfortunately, if your Medi-Cal applications are awaiting approval you could be foregoing needed medical care for your children or paying out-of-pocket for health care services. You do have the option of requesting a temporary Medi-Cal card from county services but some MediCal providers might not accept them because of concerns about whether they will be reimbursed for the care.

2 Comments

These foul ups are intentional.

Abuse of the ‘little people’ is the current American norm.

Gaping mouth, photoshopped oversized arm and hand placed over eye. With other hand on cheek also photoshopped. The Covered California website picture changed from the country road on the coast, right when bad pr and nationwide enrollment problems were extreme. Covert messages of intentional disruption.

Just days before January 1st 2014, Medi-Cal office workers still had no clue about the change in Medi-Cal eligility. If one called with questions workers had no clue.

It’s even worse than this. I have families consisting of husband, wife, child over 21 (and under 26), and child under 21, who are Medi-Cal eligible, and the child under 21 received a state Benefit ID Card, but the rest of the family has been told by LA County DPSS that their application is still under review — since January.

This whole process has been fouled up since the beginning. Everyone in state and local government had the better part of three years to prepare, to get systems in place, and be ready to go on October 1, 2013, and they all dropped the ball. The projections were that 600,000 to 1 million new Medi-Cal applications would be received — and that has proved to be true. Did anyone believe they were capable of handling that with the current infrastructure?

It’s bad enough that the counties are the go-between in the Medi-Cal process. Topping that off with CoveredCA as another original point of entry just added one additional layer of bureaucracy with no accountability. Once the application is submitted, it gets whisked off to the state, which turns it over to the county, which hands it to an eligibility worker whose sole purpose in life is to work as little and as long as possible to collect a fat pension. Delaying the processing of tens of thousands of applications is simply job security.

Other states, such as Texas, handle everything at the one, top-most level. Far more efficient, and less costly to administer. No wonder Texas is in much better shape than California.

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