Community health plan alerts members “to not lose your health coverage”
CenCal Health, the Medi-Cal health plan for two counties on the Central Coast, announces the resumption of the annual “eligibility check” or redetermination of an individual’s Medi-Cal health coverage. During the COVID crisis, the Federal government suspended this annual redetermination process in order to keep health insurance in place for the country’s most vulnerable, especially seniors and children. But as of March 31 of this year, that temporary suspension of eligibility renewals will end nationwide. California’s Medi-Cal members will begin to receive communication about the annual redetermination packages in April, and must respond to maintain their benefits. CenCal Health is the community health plan that partners with local providers to deliver health care services to one in four residents of Santa Barbara County and one in five residents of San Luis Obispo County.
“We urge our members to update their contact information with their local Department of Social Services to ensure they receive the renewal package in the mail. This is especially important if the member has moved or their mailing address has changed in the last two years,” said CenCal Health Chief Customer Experience & Health Equity Officer Van Do-Reynoso, MPH, Ph.D. “Access to care is a critical step towards health equity. So please – check, update, and respond to keep yourself and your family covered.”
To maintain healthcare coverage, other life changes also need be reported, including changes to income, disability status and family size. If members are unsure about what to report, they can contact their local California Department of Social Services (DSS) for answers. Account information updates can be done in person, by phone, fax or online. More details on the redetermination process, including contact information for local DSS offices, can be found in both Spanish and English at cencalhealth.org/keep. The State has also provided the KeepMediCalCoverage.org website to help members update their Medi-Cal information.
In Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, all Medi-Cal eligibility and enrollment decisions are made by each county’s respective DSS. CenCal Health does not determine Medi-Cal eligibility. The federal government administers Medicaid; Medi-Cal is the name of California’s Medicaid benefits program. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) funds health care services for nearly 15 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries. About one-third of Californians receive health care services financed or organized by DHCS.
“CenCal Health, in cooperation with the DHCS, is committed to making sure enrollees understand the renewal process and how to take action to avoid gaps in coverage,” said Do-Reynoso. “The unprecedented task of resuming renewal operations after the pandemic requires public education, as well as ongoing work with all our Medi-Cal partners and providers.”
Since 1983, CenCal Health has partnered with local providers – physicians, hospitals, clinics, public health departments, social service agencies, community non-profits and others – to deliver quality care to nearly 232,000 Medi-Cal members on the Central Coast. For more information on how to apply for Medi-Cal, including phone numbers for local DSS offices, visit cencalhealth.org/how-to-apply.
“It’s a privilege to help improve the health of our communities in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara,” said CenCal Health CEO Marina Owen. “We can better serve our members if they update their account information as soon as possible, and by responding to communication from our Medi-Cal partners, members will be able to keep their health coverage. Together, we can build a healthier Central Coast for all residents.”
More information on CenCal Health is available at cencalhealth.org.
About CenCal Health
CenCal Health is the local Medi-Cal health plan that partners with over 1,500 local physicians, hospitals, and other providers in delivering health care services to nearly 232,000 members in its two-county service area – one in four residents of Santa Barbara County and one in five residents of San Luis Obispo County. Marking 40 years of serving the most vulnerable, CenCal Health prioritizes cultivating community partnerships; advancing quality and health equity; expanding its service role and reach in the community; and organizing for impact and effectiveness. With a vision to be a trusted leader in advancing health equity so that the communities we serve thrive and achieve optimal health, CenCal Health invites the public to review its 2023-2025 Strategic Plan at cencalhealth.org/strategicplan.
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