California Healthline: New Lawsuit Filed To Block Duals Plan

by David Gorn

Advocates for seniors filed a lawsuit in United States District Court in Los Angeles last week seeking an injunction to halt the Coordinated Care Initiative’s duals demonstration project, known as Cal MediConnect.

The project plans to move 456,000 seniors dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare benefits into Medi-Cal managed care plans in eight California counties. That’s roughly half of the state’s population of 1.1 million dual-eligibles.

Time is short because the state is in the midst of sending notices of the possible change in medical plans, said Lynn Carman, one of the attorneys filing the suit on behalf of the Medicaid Defense Fund, a group of advocates and consumers including the Independent Living Center of Southern California.

Because California health officials are authorized to use a passive enrollment system, the people getting notices from the state will be shifted into managed care plans if they don’t respond, Carman pointed out.

“We are targeting the middle of next week to file an ex parte in federal court to get a fast hearing,” Carman said, “before they send out the next batch of notices on the 29th of September.” 

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