Coordinated Care Initiative will passively enroll dual eligibles in eight counties into combined Medicare-Medi-Cal managed care plans.
Justice in Aging
January 1, 2014
California is about to launch a huge change in the way individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medi-Cal (“dual eligibles”) receive their health. Dubbed the Coordinated Care Initiative, the program will passively enroll dual eligibles in eight counties into combined Medicare-Medi-Cal managed care plans that will provide all their covered health care services, including long-term services and supports, through one entity. Individuals may opt out of the plans for their Medicare services but must use managed care for all their Medi-Cal benefits.
In the two years leading up to the launch of the project, scheduled for April, Justice in Aging has been organizing aging and disability advocates to ensure that adequate consumer protections are part of the Coordinated Care Initiative. There have been significant victories, like the state’s commitment to an independent Ombudsman’s program to assist beneficiaries in navigating the program and a scaling back of the size and timetable for this demonstration project. The strong partnership among aging and disability advocates has been critical to making sure that the consumer voice is heard.
But much work remains.
With launch only a couple of months away at this time of this story, Justice in Aging has pulled out the stops to get advocates ready—training over 4,000 advocates with both basic and advanced presentations, drafting a comprehensive Advocate’s Guide, with frequent updates, and sharing breaking news quickly through its network. Program details are complex and getting out straightforward and accurate information is critical.
The pace will only accelerate as more notices start going out and consumers come to advocates for help. In Los Angeles county alone over 200,000 individuals are slated for passive enrollment. As enrollment starts and consumers start accessing their benefits through the new program, Justice in Aging will continue its commitment to work with advocates to protect dual eligibles.Tags: Disability Rights, Health Care, Seniors