Erroneously Terminated Medi-Cal Benefits Should Be Restored By 9/18

Erroneously Terminated Medi-Cal Benefits Should Be Restored By 9/18

Our partners at Justice in Aging shared the following update on people whose Medi-Cal was improperly terminated should have their benefits restored as of 9/18/20. Many of these people had been erroneously terminated due to receiving the $600/week payments from the CARES Act.

Despite Governor Newsom’s executive order calling for a statewide moratorium on negative Medi-Cal actions during the COVID-19 emergency, including annual redeterminations and discontinuances, California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the state Medicaid agency, erroneously terminated individuals from the Medi-Cal program. These terminations were counter to DHCS’s own guidance to county eligibility offices. The rule continues to be that counties should pause negative actions and have an obligation to maintain continuous coverage even if people experience a change in circumstances. The moratorium includes people whose Medi-Cal is linked to SSI benefits.

DHCS has already restored Medi-Cal for about 75,000 individuals who were improperly terminated between April and July 2020, and provided notice to these individuals about their coverage. DHCS is also working with counties to ensure that people who were inappropriately terminated in August and September have their Medi-Cal benefits restored by Friday, September 18. In the meantime, advocates working with older adults or people with disabilities who have been improperly terminated from Medi-Cal during this time should continue to escalate these cases with county eligibility offices for immediate corrective action.

We will continue to update you on this situation. If you or someone you know has had their Medi-Cal erroneously terminated and does not have it reinstated by 9/18, let us know at news@cahealthadvocates.org. For more information, read our past article: Your Medi-Cal Should NOT Be Terminated If You Received the $600/week via the CARES Act.

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.