California Governor Jerry Brown didn’t just sign a new budget today.
He also officially expanded the state’s Medi-Cal program under the Affordable Care Act.
The measures will make more than a million more low-income people eligible for Medi-Cal next year.
But the new policies also make fundamental changes affecting everyone in the program.
“We have had a program that puts barriers in people’s way, and we’re finally rolling out the welcome mat for health coverage for poor Californians," says Elizabeth Landsberg of Western Center on Law and Poverty.
She says it will be easier to get on and stay on Medi-Cal. And she said that the enrollment process will be more streamlined.
“Because we’re not going to be asking people for every savings statement that they have, we’re going to be using a lot more electronic verification and getting rid of some of the paperwork burdens,” says Landsberg.
Landsberg says California’s Medi-Cal changes are beyond what was required under the Affordable Care Act.
Everyone in Medi-Cal will receive comprehensive mental health coverage.
The Brown administration also announced that it will use more than $50 million dollars in private and federal money to enroll Medi-Cal participants.