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Latest News   ·   January 02, 2014

Calif. Moves 630K Low Income Health Program Enrollees To Medi-Cal

  ·   California Healthline   ·  Link to Article

On Tuesday, the California Department of Health Care Services announced that it had transferred more than 630,000 beneficiaries from the state's Low Income Health Program into Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Background

LIHP was designed as a bridge to 2014 health care reform efforts. The program primarily served individuals with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level, including:

  • Uninsured, childless adults ages 19 to 64; and
  • Parent and caretaker relatives (Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 12/31/13).

State officials have estimated that approximately 24,000 LIHP enrollees will obtain coverage through Covered California instead of being transferred to Medi-Cal (Gorn, "Capitol Desk," California Healthline, 8/19).

Reaction

In a release, DHCS Director Toby Douglas said, "California made a wise decision in 2010 to work with our county and federal partners to bring health care reform to the state early by providing coverage to uninsured childless adults under the LIHP" (San Jose Mercury News, 12/31/13).

Douglas added, "The program was critical to our preparation for the full [Affordable Care Act] Medicaid expansion on Jan. 1" (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 12/31/13).