Meeting work and community engagement requirements should take into consideration areas of high unemployment or caregiving for young children or elderly family members. States will therefore be required to describe strategies to assist eligible individuals in meeting work and community engagement requirements and to link individuals to additional resources for job training, provided they do not use federal Medicaid funding to finance these services.
“The Graham-Cassidy plan takes resources away from California and from the majority of states, which means that far fewer Americans would have insurance or the existing protections from insurers,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “The effect on California would be devastating, and lead not only to there being more uninsured people than there were before the Affordable Care Act, but would also cause huge negative impacts on the health care delivery system, the economy and on those with employer-based coverage.”
The Department of Health Care Services notified all county welfare directors in a letter dated July 31, 2017, that for eligibility determinations, same-sex married couples will be treated the same as opposite-sex married spouses. One of the significant changes is that county eligibility workers will no longer have to request verification of the same-sex marriage. They same-sex couple, regardless of which state they were married in, will just have to attest under penalty of perjury that they are legally married.
On March 3, 2017, Department of Health Care Services sent a letter to all County Medi-Cal administrators informing them of the new 2017 federal poverty levels. The new federal poverty levels went up approximately 2%. This means that individuals applying to Covered California will have to have a higher income if they want the Advance Premium Tax Credits subsidy. The single adult annual income amount to qualify for the Covered California subsidy is now $16,644. It was $16, 395 in 2016.
Guidance offered by Covered California to Certified Insurance Agents assisting consumers with enrollment into MAGI Medi-Cal
Existing Anthem Blue Cross member recently became eligible for Medi-Cal. Instead of moving to a new health plan, he or she can stay with the same plan and enroll in Anthem Blue Cross for Medi-Cal.
Covered California Certified Enrollers entering consumer income into the online application (CalHEERS) need to report the correct date in the First Date Paid field in order to get the correct eligibility results. Consumers applying for 2017 coverage may incorrectly receive Medi-Cal eligibility if they do not report their current income for 2016.
On or about August 17, 2016, a departing CalOptima employee downloaded data, which included protected health information, to an unencrypted USB flash drive. Shortly after, the departing employee returned the USB flash drive to CalOptima. While we are still investigating the contents of the flash drive, we do not believe the information was shared.
People who turn 65 and may have been receiving a hefty subsidy through Covered California to reduce their health insurance premium can be shocked at the costs of enrolling in Medicare. However, there are a variety of resources to assist Medicare beneficiaries to lower their health insurance and health care costs. Assistance from both Social Security and Medi-Cal may be an option for some Medicare beneficiaries depending on their household income.
Covered California has released a table of sources of income and whether they are countable toward the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) for the monthly health insurance subsidy. The foundation for the table is the federal 1040 income tax return. The Countable Sources of Income table includes income for the monthly subsidy and whether the income is considered for MAGI Medi-Cal.