California Healthline: LA Care Passes Duals Readiness Review

by David Gorn

Federal officials yesterday cleared LA Care Health Plan for takeoff in the state’s duals demonstration project.

By passing its readiness review, the largest publicly operated health plan in the state will be able to accept enrollees when the duals project is launched in Los Angeles County in July.

LA Care still will not be allowed to participate in passive enrollment until around January 2015 because of low CMS star ratings. So it won’t be able to automatically enroll people who are dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare benefits, but it will be able to enroll those duals who choose the LA Care plan — and that is just fine with Howard Kahn, the CEO of LA Care. 

“We have the green light. This is CMS saying we can begin the marketing process to start enrolling people within the duals project,” Kahn said. “The nice thing is, the people we’ll get will be choosing LA Care.”

State officials hope to enroll 200,000 people in Los Angeles County, which is a little less than half of the estimated 374,000 dual-eligibles who live there. CMS officials set the county cap at 200,000 for the project.

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