A superior court judge has ruled in favor of Medi-Cal applicants forced to wait for more than 45 days for an eligibility determination. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ruled Friday that the California Department of Health Care Services must process all applicants within 45 days, as required by state law. The court held that the State may comply with that order, as it complied with an earlier preliminary injunction, by providing temporary benefits to persons who are likely eligible. The State must also notify all those whose applications have been delayed the specific reasons for the delay and that they have a right to a hearing.
As you may remember, the lead plaintiff in Rivera v. Douglas is the mother of a Medi-Cal applicant who received retroactive approval for Medi-Cal a few months after dying of a preventable ailment. At the time the suit was originally filed, there were hundreds of thousands of people with severely backlogged Medi-Cal applications.
The State has not indicated whether or not they plan to appeal.