California: Medi-Cal expands by massive 2.2 million (but w/huge backlog)

Hat Tip To: 

Some days I forget just how friggin' HUGE the state of California is...

Part of the delays can be attributed to high demand. In California, as in many of the 26 states that opted to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, people turned out in much higher numbers than projected. The state health department said it now expects 2.2 million people to enroll in Medi-Cal by next month -- 300,000 more than estimated last fall.

Roughly 1.4 million of those applicants were newly eligible for Medi-Cal, which was expanded under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, to serve people who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. About 600,000 more were previously eligible for coverage but had not enrolled. Experts say the massive outreach campaigns across the country helped alert many of these people to their eligibility.

While the massive backlog issue is a serious problem, this story does give some nice solid numbers to plug into the Medicaid spreadsheet for the largest state in the country:

  • Strict Expansion: 1.4 million
  • Woodworkers: 600K

This is rather astonishing considering that until now I had California's Medicaid numbers down as about 807,000 Expansion + 404,000 Woodworkers.

This has instantly bumped the total from 1.211 million up to 2 million even, a gain of 789,000...and I'm fairly certain that doesn't even include the 650,000 LIHP transfers from the beginning of the year. Impressive.

I should also note that combining these two means that California has now enrolled 67% of the total number of uninsured residents eligible for Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (2 million out of 2.979 million), although, again, I'm not sure if the 800K "pending" are part of that or not.