California expanding Medicaid, but some beneficiaries left without coverage

Although California is expanding Medicaid to many residents, there are others there left without coverage, according to a Kaiser Health News report.

The state has enrolled more than 2.7 million low-income Californians in Medi-Cal this year, but it could drop an “unusually high number” of beneficiaries by the end of 2014, according to the report.

The reason for this, according to the report, is due to changes in Medicaid eligibility standards in regard to income and household size under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With the changes in place, the 8.6 million people who were enrolled in the program before Jan. 1 had to apply under the new rules, according to the report.

Medi-Cal beneficiaries have always had to renew their coverage on an annual basis. However, this year beneficiaries are required to provide different information than in the past, and a higher than usual number of Medi-Cal beneficiaries haven't provided the new information, according to the report.

This week, the Western Center on Law & Poverty, along with several other advocacy groups, filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Health Care Services claiming "Medi-Cal beneficiaries are being unfairly dropped from coverage," according to the report. To stop the state from cancelling coverage for those who haven't received proper notification their Medi-Cal benefits are being cancelled, the groups are seeking a temporary restraining order in their case.

The California Department of Health Care Services has not released a comment on the lawsuit, according to the report.

More articles on Medicaid expansion:

New Medicaid patients seeking more ED care, study finds

Which non-expansion state has most Medicaid eligible?

Virginia governor proposes limited Medicaid expansion

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