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California Judge Orders State to Make Timely Medicaid Coverage Decisions

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California Judge Orders State to Make Timely Medicaid Coverage Decisions

February 2, 2015
On January 20, a California Superior Court judge ruled that Medi-Cal applicants who have been waiting for more than 45 days to receive benefits may receive provisional benefits while officials determine their eligibility. The decision stems from a lawsuit filed in September alleging that the state is not properly addressing the large backlog of applications to the state Medicaid program and as a result is leaving hundreds of thousands of people without access to benefits they are eligible for. 
 
The state Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, currently has approximately 12 million state residents enrolled. The state had a peak backlog of around 900,000 applications last spring, as an additional 2.7 million people signed up since January 2014. State health care services officials have said that the backlog has been significantly reduced, and anticipate it being cleared completely within a week. Additionally, the state plans to immediately enroll the majority of new applicants found to be eligible. 
 
The court ruling also orders the state Department of Health Care Services to make timely determinations on Medi-Cal applications in addition to providing provisional benefits to those who have been waiting for a determination of eligibility. 
 

Source: Kaiser Health News