California: Medicaid Enrollments up another 49K total since 2/01

There's so much info in today's California press release I've had to move the Medicaid info to a third entry. There's a ton going on in the following passages:

Additionally, 877,000 applicants were determined to be likely eligible for Medi-Cal coverage. DHCS also transitioned 652,000 individuals into the Medi-Cal program from the state’s Low Income Health Program. Automated enrollment allowed county human services agencies to enroll 106,000 individuals into Medi-Cal coverage, and another 65,000 were enrolled through the Express Lane program.

approximately 1.5 million additional Californians have enrolled or been found likely eligible for Medi-Cal since October. 

** Does not include applicants for current Medi-Cal coverage through county human services agencies. 

OK, let's break this out: The 877K figure is up fro 850K in the January HHS report, which itself was already up from 584K as of January 15, which means a ton of new people enrolled in the 2nd half of January alone.

The 652K are people transferred from the LIHP program. This is up from 630K reported on January 1st, which itself was up from the 600K originally estimated last fall.

Add these two together and you have 877,000 + 652,000 = 1,529,000 people, which is presumably the "appx. 1.5M" number referred to above.

As for the 106K "automated enrollment" and 65K "Express Lane" figures, I'm not sure whether to include those or not...since a) adding those would make the total 1.7 million, not 1.5, and b) there's also a footnote that states that the 877K figure "does NOT include applicants for CURRENT Medi-Cal coverage", which I presume refers to these extra 171K.

The "additional" and "doesn't include current" parts certainly suggest that these refer to EXPANSION ONLY enrollments, not "woodworkers" or "renewals", but I'm stll holding off on getting into that until the January CMS report comes out, which will hopefully be sometime next week.

Meanwhile, the overall Medicaid tally just went up an additional 315,000 over what it was previously (I never updated 584K to 850K last week, figuring I'd hold off until the CMS report came out). Unfortunately, I've also had to wipe out another 1 million enrollments from the previous CMS reports since, based on the wording of the press release, I think those may have included "Regular Churn" (ie, normal enrollments under the pre-ACA rules). This means that even though I'm adding 315K, the actual grand total drops by about 700,000 people. The result is a lower total number...but a much more accurate (I think) picture of the potential ACA impact on Medicaid enrollment.

This means that I've had to go back and yank a full 1 million Medicaid/CHIP enrollments off of the spreadsheet and graph dating back to Week 16, but it also means a tighter (and more accurate) range of ACA-specific enrollments.