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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.


Getting Medi-Cal to Cancel Enrollment?

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Question: When I initially applied for Obamacare through Covered California is was found eligible for Medi-Cal. Three weeks passed before I could correct the income figures in my application. At that time I was approved for Anthem coverage with premium assistance through Covered California which I recently removed. Now, over a year later, Medi-Cal started sending me enrollment questions. They still think I’m enrolling in MediCal! How do I put a stop to this?

Answer: According to, Cathy Senderling-McDonald, Deputy Executive Director of the County Welfare Directors Association of California, county eligibility workers are unable to delete duplicate applications or remove applications upon a consumer’s request. Senderling-McDonald said, “Our county eligibility workers need to be able to tell the system, ‘This person is not eligible,’ or, ‘We need to withdraw this application,’” adding, “The computer can start that process, but our workers can’t and that was a huge oversight in the programming.” So I suggest trying to get your Medi-Cal enrollment cancelled by calling Covered California at 800-300-1506 and ask them to cancel the enrollment from their end.

36 Comments

We are having the same problem. A social worker called us that if don’t fill Medical he would terminate our medical insurance and Covered CA. We don’t want Medical. We refused to fill the paper work. He was a prision guard. I can see why he is so rude in the phone. Now he is a social worker.

What is the process of canceling medi cal, I see a lot of people having trouble

I don’t look at it as a conspiracy, it is not really different from police officers filling a quota for traffic tickets. Despite that fact there is no quota system. Even though police officers performance evaluation are based partly on the number of citations handed out that generate revenue for their respective municipality. It is a recovery act for a reason. Recovery. So yes it is intentional legislation and while it is not a conspiracy obviously nobody is going to stream line a process that would result less revenue for the state. Communism has to be supported somehow.

Estate recovery under the Medicaid regulations was not new with the advent of “Obamacare” — those rules were in place for many years. People only “discovered” it when it became more visible with millions of new enrollees into Medicaid/Medi-Cal. The problem of Medi-Cal enrollment is that the state has doctored the numbers in a way that exceeds the FPL percentages in certain ways and allows people to be swept unknowingly into Medi-Cal.

But don’t fret … our idiot legislature in Sacramento is on the fast-track to creating a “single-payer” system that will completely wreck heatlh care AND the economy in the State of California, and Medi-Cal and Medicare and private individual and group health insurance will be replaced by CALIFORNIA NANNY-CARE, with massive tax increases needed to pay for it. And if you haven’t been paying attention to the legislation, it aims to provide no out-of-pocket-cost health care for anyone in California … resident, non-resident, legal resident, illegal immigrant, vacationing foreign national. California will become a magnet for everyone with any kind of health condition.

Unless …

California voters come to their collective senses and stop voting for the Democratic fools who have no employable skills, but manage to get elected to public offices with six-figure incomes and the side benefits of graft from the labor unions (primarily Cal Nurses, Cal Teachers, and SEIU).

Jerry Brown might well veto the current legislation that has moved from the Senate to the Assembly, but his heir-apparent, Gavin Newsome, is so bent over by the labor unions that he will sign anything sponsored by any of them, regardless of the economics or lack of benefit for the majority of Californians, just to keep the graft flowing into his personal accounts. So if it doesn’t survive a Brown veto in 2017-2018, it will certainly get the approval of Newsome after the bill is resurrected in 2019.

They’re all corrupt, and the majority of voters are too blind to see it in the socialist light of “Gimme, gimme, gimme.” It should otherwise be obvious that throwing more money at social programs which have proven over decades of existence not to solve the problems they were enacted to eliminate … it only leads to more impoverishment among those who thought they were the beneficiaries, and more anguish when those beneficiaries realize their “free benefits” are about to be terminated.

Just like people had no understanding of the Medicaid asset recovery rules, they have no clue about the Medicare system becaust they are not yet “in” it like their grandparents or, possibly, their parents. Medicare is structurally bankrupt — hospitals and doctors are receiving less money in real 2017 dollars than they did ten years ago. And it’s no wonder than doctors are increasingly NOT accepting Medicare patients.

Building a “new” system on that old, failing model makes no sense — some hospitals will be forced to close and many doctors will leave California for other states where they are not forced to accept what little the state will pay — but the nurses are pushing it because they have their own agenda which has nothing to do with patient care. By the time their employers can no longer afford to pay them, and they have no jobs and no prospects for reemployment, it will be too late — for all Californians.

Garrett, I can’t agree with your conspiracy theory.

The reason I suspect people are not able to cancel their medical and are enrolled like I was with out authorization or even a request for coverage is the state passed laws in conjunction with Obama care allowing them to place estate claims and liens on your homes as source of income and revenue. http://www.canhr.org/publications/PDFs/Medi-Cal_Recovery.pdf

Exactly the same situation. I got my 1st emergency Medial due to an unexpected incident, i was in the emergency room for nearly a week. After my income changed, i tried several times to either purchase coverage through Cover CA or cancel card. No success.

We applied thru Cover-Cal and had a incredible first two years.. but January 2016 came and all off a sudden everything fell and it’s been really bad for us.. my Wife is the only one that has Covered-Cal and one of my three Daughters Has Med-ical right now ; the other two are uninsured not from lack of me trying.. January 2016 my oldest Daughter was dropped from Covered-Cal(CC) and my other Daughter was given a special Med-ical ..I tried to reinsure my oldest Daughter all year long but with no avail..I called CC to register or confirm for CC 2017 ; I was told no problem….; that CC was set for my three Daughters and Wife on 11/01/2016 .. I’ve placed many calls to CC and Med-ical to make sure they have in 2017 CC and confirm no Med-ical.. Todays calls were like this…CC says that my Daughters are Med-ical eligible but Two of them don’t have it,..and can not released from Med-ical for CCand that being said .. they can not be in CC until they are released by Med-ical … Med-ical call was at first all of my three Daughter are not Eligible and after I asked her in a different way the same question I was told that my youngest Daughter has CC and CC says my youngest has Med-ical… We’re stuck in Limbo… I don’t know what to do now….? It’s very confusing and I am overwhelmed..

Hi all:

We struggled with constantly calling the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency number (866-262-9881) which is the number the clinics will give out. NO ONE WILL EVER ANSWER! We went directly to the office - one address for central San Diego is 5055 Ruffin Rd, San Diego, CA 92123 and it took less than 20 minutes. DO NOT CALL but go in person - hope I saved someone some time and frustration.

HELP!!! I have been calling to try to cancel our Medi-cal coverage. Effective 1/1/2017

I have been sent from one phone number to another…then another and waiting hours on the phone with no answers of what we need to do. 1-714-435-4577 where my case worker is suppose to be referred me to 1-800-281-9799 waited over 2 hours then referred 1-800-300-1506..they referred back to 1800-281-9799

I am extremely frustrated by the system. Can someone please contact me 714-612-1122

DD …

You should contact Dept of Health Care Services and file an appeal immediately. It can be done over the phone. Find more information at www.dhcs.ca.gov

I had coverage for Blue Shield/covered can bronze plan. My youngest was eligible for medi-cal but was on covered California through blue shield so I was told medi-cal will not pay anything if she is on insurance. The lady at medi-cal agreed with me that it’s pointless to be on it. So I said I don’t want medi-cal and to stop sending bills. I have been fighting since. I just randomly found out that my entire families health insurance policy was canceled and my insurance agent was told it was because we are an “unlawful presence in the US”. Meanwhile, we were all born here and the one person that was “eligible” for medi-cal they had her birth certificate. So when I call they can’t tell me why they canceled my insurance. Thy requested all 4 birth certificates. I sent them but I don’t know why I need to. The other three parties are not even eligible for medi-cal. So now I have no insurance for my entire family this month. After reading this I’m worried this won’t go away. I cannot see any links that you have posted for investigators or websites…I want out of the system completely and now that I have sent my birth certificates I fear it will make everything worse! I have been on the phone with medi-cal over 9 hours in 3 days. I have had so many conflicting things told to me. And you can never speak to the same person. Help.

I travelled from USA for more than a year and I will return back next February , so I called them to check if my medi-cal is still valid , they said to me yes but when they knew that I am outside USA, they told me they will discontinue it, So what can I do and their any problems or penalty will face me.

Hi, To cancel Medi-Cal because you no longer need it, I called the covered california number on their website and reached an operator who gave me a phone number for my county office. You’ll need to contact the county services office to cancel. For Santa Clara County the number was 408-758-3800. There was a bit of a wait on the phone, but once I reached someone it was really quick and easy. I just wish finding that number or directions for this had been that easy.

Your right to an administrative appeal expired several years ago. Your only recourse now is to physically visit the local Medi-Cal agency in your county, and formally ask to have your daughter released from Medi-Cal. If they deny that request, then you will have a new 90-day window to file an appeal with the CA Dept of Health Care Services for an Administrative Law Judge hearing to determine the outcome.

That hearing is conducted by telephone (usually about 90 days from the time you file the appeal. The decision will come about 14 days later, and it could take an additional 30-60 days for the county to act if they have been ordered to release your child. That’s probably the best you can hope for at this point.

I’m fuzzy on the dates, one year we had already been on 5 insurance plans by August, but right when Covered CA started, we applied for a Blue Shield plan for the family including our daughter, and she was forcibly put on MedCal. We never filled out the paperwork for that and started getting bills anyway. We have been trying to cancel since then, called every number we can find (which don’t ever let us wait on hold, they just hang up), called the local office (who had no idea what to do), every number the local office gave us, sent in written cancellation requests, and searched to no avail for an email address.

It’s been years, now. How can we cancel this stupid plan?!!

Jennifer , , ,

You must be confused about Covered California, because there was NO WAY you could have been enrolled in anything — health insurance or Medi-Cal — through CoveredCA in 2012 because the first year of operation was 2014. When you have your facts straight, feel free to return and ask your questions.

My husband was out of work soon after our 4 1/2 year old daughter was born and we ended up on Covered CA for a few months. The baby got forced on the Medi-Cal plan, apparently, even though we had told them we wanted her on our Blue Shield plan. They started sending us paperwork, we never filled it out and completed the application, then we started getting bills. After 3 months, we all had insurance with hubby’s new job, and Covered CA was canceled online through the portal, but apparently that didn’t affect Medi-Cal which we discovered when we kept getting bills.

That was 2012.

It’s been 4 years of calling every number in existence, talking to the local office and being told they can’t help and getting more numbers, sending letters demanding cancellation, and nothing. Generally the numbers won’t even let us wait on hold.

We are at our wit’s end. We are afraid they’re going to send us to collections. If it will make them go away, we could pay for the 3 months we didn’t have other coverage, but we REFUSE to pay for the next 4 years after we’ve been trying to cancel for ALL OF IT and never asked for the plan in the first place.

What can we do?!!!

I too was auto enrolled upon checking on coverage through Covered California. It has been 7 months and I am still enrolled. After 4 hours of failed phone calls. Messages that are not valid because I cannot email them concerning specifics of my ‘case’ And a 2 hour visit to my local office where I signed an affidavit to dis-enroll. Its been 2 months since then and I am still getting mail regarding my Medi Cal coverage. This is total shit.

HI, I NEED HELP TO DISENROLL WITH MEDI-CAL PROGRAM OF CALIFORNIA. I ENROLLED IN 2/2016 BASED ON LOW INCOME ELIGIBILITY .. I NOW HAVE A JOB, AND WANT TO CANCEL THIS HEALTH PROGRAM AND OBTAIN PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE BASED ON INCOME ELIGIBILITY AND JOB THAT IS BI-COASTAL. CAN YOU HELP ME… I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO THIS FOR OVER 2 WEEKS AND IT IS A NIGHTMARE . THEY GAVE ME A FAX NUMBER TO SEND IN PROOF OF EMPLOYMENT PAY CHECK AND EACH TIME I FAX IT , THEY SAY THEY DIDN’T GET IT . I AM IN FLORIDA NOW SO I CANNOT GO THERE N PERSON.

I have been trying to get off mediCal. after 3 mos I got a contract job & my income changed. Covered ca will not let me sign up because I’m on mediCal. Stop the merry go round and let me out of this circus! If anyone knows how to get off mediCal please share

This is currently happening to me too! It is ridiculous! I have tried to disenroll for the past two years.

Frustrated, I too was automatically signed up WITHOUT my permission due to a simple input error in stating income, for a period, they input for the entire year when it was suppose to be monthly, and instantly said I’m now in Medi-Cal. , TWO years ago, back in 2014 , This was horrifying, I tried to fix it then, but the system forced that status without a edit option, I enrolled in Kaiser Silver 70 plan based on my IRS income three times the amount of Medi-cal. Piles upon piles of directories, heath plan options began to be stuffed in my mailbox, almost weekly. I called, and called every number imaginable, the dunces,all tell me their department does not allow them to dis-enroll. I ignored all the pounds of paperwork sent continuously. Then I read some document, they automatically enrolled me in HealthNet without my permission. I spent about 20, -30 hours of my work time calling every department imaginable, being told I must call a caseworker assigned who never answers. Certain numbers have 90 minute hold times, and 25 people ahead of me. . This is a rotten, foul, scam, it’s criminal and abusive how the State of CA harms and tortures its citizens unjustly. Now I am getting Yellow mailing inserts, Threatening notices, the State will confiscate my estate to pay for these Welfare Benefits paid on my behalf to some Insurance company receiving payments for Services I did NOT authorize or sign up for. I am so mad I can spit. A certain department I reached today said I must make an appointment and go to some local Welfare office to sort this out. I am not spending any of my work day for hours of waiting in a line in a far away place to due CA State incompetence Someone I spoke with today in Sacramento said she can see the account for Medi-cal, however they did not release, even though she can see I pay to Kaiser a $300.00 monthly premium. . I would keep ignoring, but the shocking threatening Yellow legal letters threatening to go after my estate when I die is unimaginable criminality by the STATE of CA.for years of fake benefits paid to Healthnet, could be tens of thousands of dollars mounting and a claim on my assets. The State is a Criminal Enterprise, I’m getting sickened by this assault going on for two years,

Jereny …

What you need to do is file a formal request for a hearing through the Department of Health Care Services. Getting an Administrative Law Judge to issue a formal order is about the only way the local county Medi-Cal agencies to do what they are supposed to do. You can file the appeal by telephone at 800-952-5253.

Although there is normally a 60-day window of opportunity to make this request, it’s not an absolute in situations such as yours.

It will likely take two to four months to get to the hearing, which will be conducted by telephone and could take up to an hour for the judge to hear all sides. But once the judge understands what the problem is, it will get handled, although you can still expect the local county agency to drag its feet when it comes to implementing the ALJ’s order.

This situation is affecting thousands of Californians (who knows how bad the situation is in other states), and it is costing millions of dollars in waste and abuse, not to mention the potential for fraud.

The whole thing really should proceed in federal court as a class action, but finding plaintiffs and attorneys willing to prosecute the matter is difficult. Most people in your situation simply give up and it gets swept under the rug. It shouldn’t be that way.

It’s funny. I’m going through the same pain of trying to get the state to cancel Medi-Cal for me and my family. I’ve completely given up hope it will happen and just hope I can explain to Experian or whomever ends up getting this as an unpaid bill that the idiots that run this state put in place a process that makes it virtually impossible to get off the government dime. If I was unemployed it would be easier … but then I would probably need Medi-Cal in that case. Cheers to you Medi-Cal and the hundreds of drudge workers you employ fulfilling whatever needs you think you’re filling.

I’m a little confused by the sequence of events you describe. CoveredCA is the enrollment portal, and if you tried to enroll in health insurance through the CoveredCA website, if your income data was accurate and your eligibility was determined as Medi-Cal eligible, unless you were required to submit documents and haven’t done that, your local Medi-Cal agency is required to finalize your eligibility within 30-45 days.

Please visit my website where you can see my phone numbers at the top of the home page. Call me and I’ll see what we can do.

Stephanie …

I have the Dept of Insurance investigating this situation which has affected untold numbers of persons in Los Angeles County. Please contact me so I can put you in touch with the investigator handling this investigation. This is actually criminal wrongdoing on the part of LA County DPSS and it has to be stopped.

I purchased a bronze plan in 2014 through Covered CA but apparently had also qualified for Medi-cal, which I only realized realized (after FIRST getting a denial letter from them) in late 2014. I had already cancelled my LA care by then, since I had obtained employer sponsored coverage in July 2014. I tried many times to cancel Medi-cal through every avenue possible and finally spent hours on the phone with them AND a Covered CA rep in Jan 2015. I also submitted a form MC-215 at that time after contacting the Medi-cal ombudsman.

After having no correspondence from them or LA Care for over a year, I thought I was successful. However, I just received a new LA Care card 02/2016. When I contacted them, LA Care informed me that I had been re-enrolled via Medi-cal. The thought of going through that process again is unbearable, and on top if it I now have no correspondence from Medi-cal that they’ve re-enrolled me, contact information for a local office, etc.

I’m worried that my application has been resubmitted. Covered CA has no record of an application for me. Is a DHCS hearing the way to go here? I just want all my information purged from the Medi-cal system as I thought I had done successfully last year.

Max, I recently lost my job and my husband has no full time job. So we became eligible for Medical. I updated them about new job and then the case was transferred to covered california. A month and a half has passed. My family has no medical coverage. Medical won’t give a temporary medical card to visit a doctor since they changed our eligibility to covered california. Covered california representative offered no assistance in this regard. What are my health care option during this period when my cover california eligibility has been determined but the change has not taken in to effect and enrollment has not been initiated? Kindly advise.

Susan …

The hearing is conducted by telephone and takes about an hour. Please email me for contact information of a Dept of Insurance investigator who may be interested in your situation.

After a clerical error on Covered CA’s side, I was erroneously signed up for Medi-Cal while being above the income threshold. I was able to get Covered CA insurance, but like Jim, have had no luck getting out of Medi-Cal. Letters, calls, they still keep sending packets like I’m enrolled. When you talk about asking for a hearing, do you actually have to physically take the day off to go to it or is it all done by mail? Either that, or I’m going to have to die to get out of Medi-Cal and even then, that’s iffy.

Jim …

You need to stop attempting to deal with the local Medi-Cal agency and file an appeal (as if your Medi-Cal determination was denied) with the state Dept of Health Care Services. The fastest way to a hearing is to file the appeal by phone. Call DHCS at 800-952-5253. Expect to wait about 90 days for the hearing (you will be notified by mail about 30 days in advance).

I’ve now written 3 letters to the dingbats who run Medical and asked (begged) them to cancel any Medical coverage I have. In reply they send packets of applications etc etc. I give up. trying to reach them via telephone in simply not on… the phone numbers they supply are never answered and most of them contain a message to the effect the “this mailbox is full and can’t accept messages” Oh boy.. Medical and their partners must be the most inept bunch ever to be employed by a gov’t agency. They should be ashamed of their dismal performance.

I signed up once, and I found a job soon thereafter and was trying to cancel it. They told me to mail them a letter asking them to cancel it. I did that. A week later, another 60 page packet came in the mail. What a waste of time, effort, and resources.

Total idiots with no practical experience had to have created this freakin quagmire. As a single mom without health insur. - independent marketing consultant… I thought okay this will work out, my daughter has her insurance through her bio dad. I qualified for a subsidy. Cov CA automatically said based on our income she was eligible for Medi-cal. YUK! Didn’t enroll didn’t fill out any of the forms they sent. In the meantime, I was in a fairyland of delusions when a few months later I went to my doctor and they told me my health insurance had been terminated. Learned that Medi-cal closed her “case” because I failed to complete the forms and income verif. for something I never wanted!!! and it caused my insurance through Blue Shield to be canceled in spite of the fact that I had set up automatic payments through Cov. CA to make sure I didn’t miss a payment. So on top of having to pay the office visit $75 and my meds $36. I will now face a penalty fee for not being enrolled for Dec 2014. Ridiculous!

It’s actually worse than this. Just try reaching your “designated” county eligibility worker … a virtual impossibility. They have “scheduled” telephone hours, but rarely answer the phone. If you manage to get your call answered, you are just as likely to be told, “Your file has been transferred to … .” and you can’t reach that person either.

This whole process has been mangled from the get-go. And it’s reprehensible, to say the least. From the time the PPACA was signed into law by Obama in 2010, the states and counties had more than three-and-a-half years to get their acts coordinated and ready to go for 2014 Open Enrollment in October 2013.

Calfornia is one of the absolute worst offenders of all 50 states, and it’s no wonder. There are now a minimum of three separate and unrelated bureaucracies with their thumbs in the pie (or up a certain part of their anatomies). Applications filter through CoveredCA, are transmitted to Dept of Health Care Services, then rerouted to the local county Medi-Cal agency.

The problem originates with CoveredCA. As soon as a the application is submitted, it triggers data entry into the “data feed” for that day. If you make a change to the application five minutes later, it triggers a different data feed. But who knows what feed DHCS sends to the county agency? Most likely the first, to the exclusion of the second.

To make matters worse, when persons submit multiple applications, the whole process can be mired in bureaucratic red tape (as alluded to above). As an agent, I have to hesitate when submitting a Medi-Cal application if I know the individual has already submitted one, and, right or wrong, in many cases I decline to submit a new application if the individual tells me they already submitted an application via CoveredCA or, especially, at the county agency itself — because I don’t want to be the source of them being ground up and spit out of the system unfairly.

The State of Texas, by comparison, handles everything through a single agency of the state, thereby eliminating the added layers of bureaucracy. And don’t forget, each added layer consumes taxpayer dollars.

Those of us who have been active in submitting Medi-Cal applications know that it will still be several months before we get payments for the middle six months of 2014 applications — and the initial round of payments made in December 2014 were for barely more than $1,000,000. But CoveredCA claimed more than $2,000,000 of the $24,000,000+ right up front, that was available for compensation to agents, navigators, and application counselors.

It is utterly disgusting to be treated this way, and then to receive in today’s email, that sappy letter from Director Peter V. Lee, telling us how much he thanks us for all we’ve done.

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