CFC Supports AB 714 ( Atkins) – Pre-Enrollment in Exchange and Medi-Cal

Bill Update: AB 714 passed the Assembly Health Committee on April 26th by a vote of 13 to 6. The bill is now waiting to be heard in Assembly Appropriations.

CFC Position: Support

Bill Summary:  This measure implements and improves on the provisions of federal health reform by maximizing the uninsured and underinsured enrolled in the Exchange and Medi-Cal on January 1, 2014 when the Exchange opens and Medi-Cal Eligibility expands to cover adults without children under 18 at home.

Bill Background: Today there are over 8 million Californians with no health coverage.  It is estimated that as many as five to six million of these uninsured Californians are eligible for coverage of some sort under the new Affordable Care Act.  Those who are newly eligible for the Exchange or Medi-Cal will be 100 percent federally funded during the initial years of implementation.  By pre-enrolling these eligible individuals California will be prepared for the major influx of eligible enrollees. 

This would be in sharp contrast to the dismal performance of California in enrolling children in Healthy Families and the medically uninsurable in the high risk pools where enrollment was slow and difficult.  This measure complements other pieces of legislation that implement and improve federal health reform, including efforts to streamline and simplify eligibility and enrollment in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families as well as measures to expand Medi-Cal eligibility, consistent with federal law and a final measure that proposes to provide auto-enrollment for those losing private coverage due to changes in life circumstance such as divorce or job loss.

WHAT THE BILL DOES: Specifically, the bill proposes to pre-enroll those who:
‘    Have some linkage to an existing public program that has limited benefits such as FAMILYPact as well as AIM, breast and cervical cancers and prostate cancer
‘    Are about to age off of a public program such as Medi-Cal or Healthy Families
‘    Receive discounted care or charity care from a hospital
‘    Have some other link to a public program or other publicly regulated health service

The proposal would start in 2012 by giving consumers notice about the Exchange and the Medi-Cal expansion and then in 2013 to begin pre-enrollment of these Californians so that on January 1, 2014 enrollment is seamless and short.