Sacramento, CA - The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) today announced that $23 million in grants from The California Endowment (The Endowment) will be awarded to 36 California counties or county groups in February to help increase and enhance outreach and enrollment efforts for Medi-Cal.
The joint DHCS/The Endowment grant effort will support overall efforts to increase awareness of Medi-Cal for those who are eligible, but not yet enrolled, while helping retain current members. It will emphasize reaching certain specific populations, such as those who have limited English proficiency, with educational information that is meaningful and relevant to their needs. Counties that are awarded grants must make at least half of the funding available to community-based organizations. Those counties receiving less than $160,000 are allowed to maintain a maximum of $80,000 for their operation of the grant program.
“We’ve had great success enrolling hundreds of thousands of Californians in Medi-Cal since the launch of the Affordable Care Act and CoveredCA.com last October,” said DHCS Director Toby Douglas. “It’s important that we continue working with counties to make sure our messages about Medi-Cal coverage are reaching everyone with good information they can easily and readily use.”
DHCS and The Endowment, recognizing the key role community-based organizations play in helping counties connect with various groups, required counties to specify the organizations with which they will share funding as part of the grant application process. The funds will focus on increasing effective outreach to those with one or more of the following characteristics: mental health disorder needs; substance use disorder needs; people who are homeless; young men of color; those who are in county jails, in state prison, on state parole, on county probation or under post-release community supervision; families of mixed-immigration status; and people with limited English proficiency.
Funding for the grants was provided for DHCS by The Endowment as required by Assembly Bill 82, which allows DHCS to accept contributions from private foundations for the management and funding of Medi-Cal outreach and enrollment plans, and to support enrollment assistance workers. The Endowment grant funding will cover activities from February 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016.
“We know that one-on-one assistance is vital to helping those who are hardest to reach and most in need,” said Robert K. Ross, M.D., CEO and President of The Endowment. “We are excited to partner with DHCS to fund outreach and enrollment assistance at the local level. This is an important investment that will help hundreds of thousands of Californians enroll in Medi-Cal.”
Since Medi-Cal expansion enrollment began on October 1, 2013, about 584,000 applicants to the Covered California health benefit exchange website have been determined likely eligible for Medi-Cal coverage. Many of them are among the newly eligible population of childless adults ages 19 to 64. In addition, on January 1, more than 630,000 Californians from the state’s Low Income Health Program were transitioned to Medi-Cal managed care. When The Endowment grant is fully implemented, the 36 county agencies or county groups selected are expected to reach more than 500,000 individuals across the state.
Selected counties and total grant awards include:
About the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)
DHCS works to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians. DHCS provides health care services for nearly 9.2 million Californians through Medi-Cal, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use treatment services and long-term services and supports. This is accomplished through an investment of more than $70 billion annually in public funds for the care of low-income families, children, pregnant women, seniors and persons with disabilities. DHCS focuses on delivering quality, effective services primarily through coordinated systems of care provided by 21 Medi-Cal managed care plans located in all of California’s 58 counties. For more information about DHCS, please visit www.dhcs.ca.gov.
For more information:
CONTACT: Norman Williams
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