New data shows Sacramento County disenrolled 9,650 people from Medi-Cal in June. It was the first time in three years it and all other California counties have checked for eligibility.
The majority of people who were dropped did not return the renewal packets that were sent to the last address the county had on file. The same is true on the state level. Of the 225,000 California residents who were disenrolled in June, almost 9 in 10 were dropped because they didn’t complete the renewal paperwork.
“It’s extremely troubling,” said David Kane, senior attorney at Western Center on Law and Poverty. “Nobody looked at their cases and said, ‘you’re over income or you no longer qualify.’ They were cut off merely for paperwork reasons.”
Kane said many people have changed their addresses in the past three years, and may have never received the packet. Meanwhile, in Sacramento, community health workers say long wait times and a lack of communication from the county make it difficult to help people renew their coverage.
Medi-Cal, California’s low-to-no-cost insurance program for people with very low incomes, is in the first month of a yearlong renewal process.
Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, a federal policy called “continuous coverage” ensured that people could join Medi-Cal but could not be taken off. When the public health emergency ended this spring, counties began checking whether people were still eligible for the first time since 2020.