Covered California will implement several changes to their online application program known at CalHEERS on August 1, 2016. One significant change is no longer assessing unmarried pregnant women’s income for determining Medi-Cal eligibility. The previous version automatically determined Medi-Cal eligibility based on a woman’s income and pregnancy status. Because Medi-Cal considers a pregnant woman a household two at a minimum, many women were tracked into Medi-Cal and not eligible for private health insurance with the subsidies.
When a woman completes an Application for Coverage with Covered California and checks the box to indicate she is pregnant, she should be given the option to stay on a Covered California plan. Instead, the system is moving some women in low-income ranges to Medi-Cal.