California Healthline: Could ‘Terrible’ Medi-Cal Renewal Form Undermine Recent Gains in Enrollment?

by David Gorn

A new form for annual Medi-Cal renewals scheduled to be sent to about eight million Californians is confusing and misleading and could cause many beneficiaries to fall out of coverage, according to health care advocates.

“The renewal form is really a mess,” said Elizabeth Landsberg, director of legislative advocacy for the Western Center on Law and Poverty. “It’s just not very clear, it’s confusing. It’s a terrible form.”

Landsberg said Californians could lose Medi-Cal coverage by not dealing correctly with the forms and with millions of beneficiairies needing to file them, the repercussions are potentially huge. County health departments will begin mailing the renewal form and a supplemental form April 1.

“Everyone is required to do a renewal once a year,” Landsberg said. “There have always been some people who have lost coverage [during the renewal process].” But in this case, she said, the complicated nature of the process and the new information required to renew coverage could raise those numbers dramatically. “We think [the damage] could be significant,” she said.

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