L.A. County Unlawfully Terminated Thousands Of Medi-Cal Recipients, Court Rules

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
05/16/18  1:40 PM PST
Medi-Cal Recipients

“L.A. County Unlawfully Terminated Thousands Of Medi-Cal Recipients, Court Rules” By Anna Gorman for California Healthline

Los Angeles County unlawfully dropped an estimated 22,000 people from California’s Medicaid program, including low-income seniors and disabled residents who couldn’t get vital medications and medical care after their coverage was terminated, according to a court ruling late last week.

The May 10 decision, by Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant, ordered the county’s Department of Public Social Services to fix the problem that resulted in so many people getting cut off — though he did not specify how that should be done.

The department dropped people between December 2016 and December 2017 before processing their renewal applications, even though they had filed on time, according to plaintiffs’ arguments in court papers.

Chalfant also said the county had failed to reinstate beneficiaries who had submitted missing information within a 90-day grace period.

He did not explicitly order the county to reinstate enrollees who were wrongfully dropped from the public health insurance program for people with low incomes, known as Medi-Cal in California.

The renewal applications hit a snag as Medicaid rolls in California swelled following the expansion of the program under the Affordable Care Act. The health law took effect in 2014, and an estimated 3.8 million people newly eligible for Medi-Cal have signed up since then.

One of the plaintiffs was 50-year-old Thaddeus Moncrief of Lancaster, Calif., who is paraplegic. He said Friday that he couldn’t get his blood pressure medications, catheters or colostomy bags after his Medi-Cal benefits suddenly stopped in 2016. Moncrief said he also was unable to get badly needed repairs made to his wheelchair.

He said he had sent in his renewal documents on time. “When I tried to contact Medi-Cal, they gave me the runaround,” he said. “I was pretty upset. I had been on disability and Medi-Cal for about 20 years. There was never a problem before.”

Read the Full Article on California Healthline.

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