Consumer Medi-Cal Updates for COVID-19

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The Department of Health Care Service (DHCS) has instituted extensive changes to the Medi-Cal program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a complete list of these changes, please visit the DHCS website: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/DHCS-COVID%E2%80%9119-Response.aspx

Below are some highlights for older adults and persons with disabilities on Medi-Cal:  

  • Discontinuances: Currently, your Medi-Cal benefits cannot be discontinued. Beginning March 16, 2020, Medi-Cal discontinuances and negative actions were delayed for a minimum of 90 days. See MEDIL 20-07.
  • Annual Redeterminations: You currently cannot be asked to provide paperwork to maintain your Medi-Cal benefits. Counties were instructed to delay redeterminations for a minimum of 90 days, beginning March 16, 2020. See MEDIL 20-07.
  • Stimulus Checks Exempt: Under the CARES Act, most individuals will receive stimulus checks of up to $1,200 for adults and $500 for children. For Medi-Cal purposes, these funds will be not be counted as income, and will be excluded as property for a period of 12 months. The DHCS All County Letter outlining this policy is forthcoming. In addition money received from a stimulus checks cannot be taken by the nursing home, Adult residential facility or assisted living facility because it is not counted as a resource for federal benefits. For more information please read https://canhrnews.com/did-a-nursing-home-or-assisted-living-facility-take-your-stimulus-check/
  • Unemployment Benefits: Unemployment benefits are counted as income (taxable portion for MAGI) for the purposes of Medi-Cal. However, the additional $600 weekly payment under Section 2104 of the CARES Act will be disregarded for Medi-Cal purposes.
  • Processing Applications: County Medi-Cal offices are no longer taking walk-in Medi-Cal applications. You can still apply online, by mail, fax, or by dropping off a paper application at the designated drop-box location at each county Medi-Cal office.
  • Presumptive Eligibility for COVID-19 testing: DHCS is offering presumptive Medi-Cal eligibility for those who do not have health insurance and need COVID-19 testing and treatment. This program is open to anyone otherwise eligible for any Medi-Cal program. See DHCS FAQ Page.

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