Free Health Insurance Available to Many CalFresh Enrollees
The state has decided to express-enroll 153,000 children and 550,000 adults who are signed up with the CalFresh program, but don't receive any Medi-Cal health benefits. The "Express Lane Enrollment" process allows selected CalFresh children and adults to be immediately enrolled in Medi-Cal by simply giving their consent.
"We're very excited about this new approach the California Department of Health Care Services, or DHCS, is taking to ensure quality health care is available to young children and their families," said Ruel Nolledo, government affairs officer with First 5 LA. "This is a great opportunity to enroll many children in a streamlined, efficient manner."
A central factor in the development of this new initiative came about when the federal government gave states the option of using their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, data to get both adults and children enrolled in Medicaid, Nolledo noted.
Due to the state's expansion of its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, income eligibility requirements for CalFresh and Medi-Cal are now comparable. As a result, anyone who qualifies for CalFresh is also likely to qualify for the state's Medi-Cal program.
DHCS has mailed out letters to all non-elderly affected CalFresh households that don't currently have Medi-Cal coverage. Medi-Cal provides no-cost coverage for comprehensive health care such as doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, mental health care, as well as dental care for children.
Each family member's letter has a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at the top that is unique to that individual. To enroll themselves or their children in Medi-Cal for free, family members have three easy options that require no completion of an application. Upon receiving the letter, they can:
- Sign and return the letter
- Call 1-844- 212-0003 and give the PIN listed on top of the letter
- Go online here and enter their PIN listed on top of the letter
Furthermore, using the PIN on the individual's letter as a reference, a county Medi-Cal eligibility worker can help express enroll that person. If a CalFresh family didn't receive an express enrollment letter, they may already be enrolled in Medi-Cal and can call their county Medi-Cal office to confirm.
It is important to know that the state will only be sending out one letter per eligible family member, so it is critical for families to hold onto that important document, state officials noted. Such letters were only sent to non-elderly CalFresh enrollees without Medi-Cal coverage.
Non-elderly CalFresh enrollees can also be express enrolled into Medi-Cal when they renew their CalFresh eligibility, officials said. Furthermore, those who apply for CalFresh for the first time will be able to enroll in Medi-Cal based on their CalFresh eligibility.
For those who don't qualify for express enrollment, they can apply for Medi- Cal directly. To do so, they can:
- Go online by clicking here
- Call 1-800-300-1506
- Visit your county social services office
For more information about express enrollment into Medi-Cal, please call 1-844-212-0003. Your county Medi-Cal office can also provide assistance. Additional information is also available here.
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