For Immediate Release
Sonoma County resuming annual Medi-Cal eligibility reviews with COVID-19 emergency ending
SANTA ROSA, CA | April 17, 2023
The Sonoma County Human Services Department is reviewing its records and contacting some people currently enrolled in Medi-Cal to ensure that no eligible recipients lose coverage as the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.
Over the next year, some Medi-Cal enrollees will get a letter stating their coverage has been automatically renewed. Others will receive a packet requesting information. To avoid a lapse in benefits, Medi-Cal recipients should promptly complete and return any documents mailed by the county Human Services Department.
Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicaid program, provides free and low-cost medical coverage to children and adults with limited income and resources. As of January of this year, 133,187 people in Sonoma County were enrolled in Medi-Cal, including families, many people working full-time, and older adults living on a fixed income.
“More than 1 in 4 people in Sonoma County receive health-care benefits through Medi-Cal. It’s our largest safety net program and plays an essential role in keeping our community healthy,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “It’s important that people keep an eye on their mail so they can quickly respond to any questions from the county Human Services Department and keep their Medi-Cal coverage.”
This month, Medi-Cal will resume annual eligibility reviews to determine if current enrollees qualify for ongoing coverage. The federal and state government suspended the review requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure Medi-Cal recipients did not lose medical coverage during the unprecedented health crisis. It is expected to take 14 months to reimplement eligibility reviews for all 15.4 million Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal. All current Medi-Cal enrollees in Sonoma County will retain their coverage until they are contacted by the Human Services Department.
“We want to make sure that people are aware of this so there’s no lapse in coverage,” said Felisa Pinson, director of the department’s Economic Assistance Division. “It is important to know that the resumption of renewals is going to be a long process. Clients should not be concerned if they do not hear from us right away. Not everyone will have their case re-evaluated at the same time.”
The county will communicate with clients in writing about the status of their case and whether additional information is required. If clients are found ineligible for Medi-Cal, they may qualify for a health plan through Covered California.
Kristen Font, Communications Specialist
Sonoma County Human Services Department