CenCal Health is encouraging Medi-Cal recipients in Santa Barbara County to reconfirm their eligibility.
On March 31, the temporary suspension of eligibility renewals ended nationwide. California’s Medi-Cal members are receiving communication this month about their annual redetermination, and they must respond to maintain their benefits.
CenCal Health is the community health plan that partners with local providers to deliver health care services to many residents in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
“The first series of packets will be sent out on April 20,” Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, chief customer experience and health equity officer for CenCal Health, told the News-Press. “Members have 60 days to fill it out and return to the Department of Social Services office. There is a prepaid envelope included for convenience. We are encouraging community members to update their contact info and be ready when the packets are sent out.”
To maintain healthcare coverage, other life changes need to be reported, including changes to income, disability status and family size, according to CenCal Health.
If you are unsure about what to report, contact the local California Department of Social Services office. Account information updates can be done in person, by phone, fax or online.
“We have been working closely with DSS offices, community based organizations and healthcare providers so our members are aware that redetermination has started and can assist members and patients,” Dr. Van Do-Reynoso said. “Our member services department can guide members who call where they can access support at local DSS offices or other partners and provide general guidance for steps members need to take to stay covered.
“We are using a wide variety of tools to support our members,” Dr. Do-Reynoso said. “We have a pretty comprehensive outreach plan including social media, website, texts and a call campaign with the aim that we will be able to blanket the community with urgency to be ready for the renewal process.”
The News-Press asked Dr. Do-Reynoso what happens if members fail to apply for renewal of benefits.
“Unfortunately, they will lose benefits and may not have access to immediate healthcare services,” she said. “To avoid disruption of coverage, we strongly encourage members to update their information starting today and complete the renewal pack online or by mail right away.”
In Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, all Medi-Cal eligibility and enrollment decisions are made by each county’s respective DSS.
CenCal Health does not determine Medi-Cal eligibility. The federal government administers Medicaid; Medi-Cal is the name of California’s Medicaid benefits program. The California Department of Health Care Services funds health care services for nearly 15 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
About one-third of Californians receive health care services financed or organized by DHCS.
“It’s a privilege to help improve the health of our communities in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara,” said Marina Owen, CEO of CenCal Health. “We can better serve our members if they update their account information as soon as possible, and by responding to communication from our Medi-Cal partners, members will be able to keep their health coverage. Together, we can build a healthier Central Coast for all residents.”
CenCal members can update their contact information and complete their renewal application at www.mybenefitscalwin.org (which has an additional link to www.keepmedicalcoverage.org).
“The website is very easy to use. It is critical that members maintain access to healthcare services by updating their information on the website and filling out the renewal packet,” said Dr. Do-Reynoso. “You can help friends and family with the renewal process. Together we can support our vulnerable community members to thrive by helping them maintain access to healthcare services.”