Medi-Cal applicants who have been waiting for more than 45 days can receive temporary health benefits while their full application is still being processed.
Kaiser Health News (KHN)
January 23, 2015
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Organizations mentioned/involved: Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA), Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal)
Medi-Cal applicants who have been waiting for more than 45 days can receive temporary health benefits while their full application is still being processed, a state Superior Court judge ruled this week.
A lawsuit was filed due to the large backlog of applications to California’s Medicaid program, leaving hundreds of thousands without medical care, and potentially endangering or letting many die in the wait. Advocates that filed the case pointed to pregnant women, children, and adults with urgent conditions as being in harms way. Many others delay treatment to the detriment of their long-term health. In one case cited in the suit, a man died of a pulmonary embolism while awaiting the outcome of his Medi-Cal application. His approval notice didn’t arrive until two months after his death.
“The ruling is absolutely vital in ensuring benefits for everyone who is entitled to them,” said Cori Racela, an attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. “They may have medical needs while they are waiting for their application to be processed.”
(Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit national health policy news service.)Tags: Benefits, Health Care