California DHCS awards almost $60 million for Medi-Cal Health Enrollment Navigators
While many states continue to prepare for Medicaid redeterminations, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) estimates that two to three million Medi-Cal beneficiaries may lose their coverage during the state’s 14-month eligibility redetermination period. To assist Californians with enrollment assistance, DHCS has awarded $59.8 million to 23 county agencies and 12 community-based organizations (CBOs) to support the work of Medi-Cal Health Enrollment Navigators through June 30th, 2025.
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Medi-Cal Health Enrollment Navigators will support targeted outreach and enrollment assistance for newly eligible Medi-Cal members, assist undocumented individuals access new benefit expansions, and provide additional assistance to individuals who need it.
“DHCS is partnering with counties and organizations with deep connections to their communities to provide vital assistance to hard-to-reach Californians,” DHCS Director Michelle Baass said in a press release. “Through these partnerships, we are working to ensure all eligible Californians have the support they need to apply for and use their Medi-Cal coverage, as well as to help current members keep their coverage.”
Counties and CBOs will perform direct, electronic, and print media outreach; application assistance; enrollment; assistance with accessing and utilizing healthcare services; troubleshooting; retention; and redeterminations to reach populations of focus.
DHCS’s 12 priority target populations for enrollment navigators are:
- Individuals with mental health disorder needs
- Individuals with substance use disorder needs
- Individuals with other disabilities
- Individuals experiencing homelessness
- Young people of color
- Immigrants and families of mixed immigration status
- Low-wage employees and their families or dependents
- Uninsured children and youth who were formerly enrolled in Medi-Cal
- Individuals in county jails, state prisons, or who are on state parole, on county probation, or under post-release community supervision
- Populations affected by Medi-Cal eligibility expansions
The funding provided to the 23 county agencies and 12 CBOs in various counties will cover services in a total of 44 California counties. The following 23 were awarded $35.9 million in total: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Lake, Madera, Merced, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Stanislaus, Trinity, Tuolumne, and Ventura.
The following 12 CBOs received a total of $23.9 million in funding: Ampla Health, Bonita Family Resource Center, Catholic Charities of California, California Coverage and Health Initiatives, Center for Human Development, Community Service Solutions, Harwood/Family Resource Center Network, Innercare, Kaweah Delta Health Care, Marin Community Clinic, Sacramento Covered, and San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium.
On July 1st, 2019, the Medi-Cal Health Enrollment Navigators project was established as part of the 2019 Budget Act. Under Senate Bill 154, an additional $60 million—with $30 million from the general fund—was allocated to continue supporting the Medi-Cal Health Enrollment Navigators project, with awards being made to county agencies that had previously declined to seek funding allocations for the Health Enrollment Navigator.