DHCS News Release: New Campaign Will Help Medi-Cal Members Stay Covered When Eligibility Renewals Return in April
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) today launched a statewide public information, education, and outreach campaign to raise awareness about the upcoming return of the Medi-Cal eligibility renewal process for all 15.4 million Medi-Cal members, and to encourage them to take steps to keep their coverage.
“We know how much Medi-Cal members value their health coverage, so we want to make sure they know what to do to continue accessing the comprehensive care they need and deserve,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass. “With more than 15 million Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal, we are committed to ensuring enrollees understand the upcoming renewal process and how to take action to avoid gaps in coverage. We are beginning this unprecedented task of resuming normal renewal operations, and we know that public education, as well as ongoing work with our many partners, is a critical component of our overall effort.”
“It’s critical that we enlist trusted partners and messengers to reach members where they are with the tools they need to keep their health coverage. We are enlisting Coverage Ambassadors, including diverse organizations and individuals, such as providers and local organizations, across the state to convey important information in their communities,” said Jacey Cooper, State Medicaid Director.
WHY THIS MATTERS: During the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), the federal government temporarily waived Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements for annual eligibility redeterminations. As a result, Medi-Cal members kept their health coverage continuously during the PHE. On December 23, 2022, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, an omnibus funding package that separates the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement from the federal COVID-19 PHE and provides a fixed end date for the Medicaid continuous coverage guarantee – March 31, 2023.
CAMPAIGN DETAILS: DHCS’ statewide campaign will run from February 2023 through June 2024 to raise awareness of the renewal process and drive Medi-Cal members to take necessary steps to keep themselves and their families covered. Recognizing the diversity of Californians, the campaign will include a range of integrated communications tools designed to reach Medi-Cal members in 19 Medi-Cal threshold languages where they live, work, and spend time with vital information.
DHCS launched a landing page, KeepMediCalCoverage.org, where Medi-Cal members can find out about the renewal process and how to update their contact information to receive important updates.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Drawing on best practices from consumer health care communications efforts, the campaign will reach individuals across traditional and digital media channels, including radio, Facebook, and display advertising, as well as through out-of-home advertising, such as billboards and public transit signage. Direct mail, text messaging, and email will be utilized to reach members individually. Working with diverse stakeholders that have relationships in communities across the state will ensure that the campaign reaches populations in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways. Collateral materials, including flyers, one-page fact sheets, and infographics, are also available for government agencies, county enrollment offices, and community partners.
Local county offices will begin mailing letters to members in April to let them know if their Medi-Cal coverage was renewed automatically or if they need more information to process the renewal. Members can expect to receive this letter around the same month when they initially enrolled and have received notice letters in past years. If they receive a renewal packet or letter asking for more information, they will need to submit it via mail, phone, in person, or online to avoid gaps in coverage. Members can check their online account – Covered California, BenefitsCal, or MyBenefitsCalWIN – for alerts.
To learn more, visit KeepMediCalCoverage.org.