About 225,000 Californians lost their free or low-cost health coverage as of July 1st in the first round of a Medi-Cal renewal process – which had been suspended since early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number makes up more than 20 percent of the 1 million or more people who were due to reapply for coverage in June.
Less than three percent of those who lost coverage lost it because their incomes now exceed program limits. Most lost it because they didn’t submit a renewal packet and could not have their incomes verified.
Staff attorney David Kane told CalMatters “I don’t think today’s preliminary numbers mean we can all sit back and think things are OK, these disenrollments are not inevitable.” He added that the lack of responses could be due to not receiving the packets or not getting the packets in their language.
Anthony Cava of the California Dept. of Public Health told KALW that it’s not too late for some residents to hold on to their Medi-Cal coverage. If you’ve lost your insurance, Cava advised Californians to: return packets to their county office; notify them if you’ve moved; and to return any yellow envelopes promptly.
The state will review eligibility for about 16 million people over the next year. Those who were dropped from Medi-Cal on July 1st have 90 days to re-apply for reinstatement.