CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 12/07/2012

Blue Shield Foundation Offers Grants for County Enrollment Assistance in 2013

The Blue Shield Foundation of California has announced grant opportunities for counties to assist in the transition of enrollees from county Low Income Health Programs (LIHPs) to Medi-Cal or the state’s health benefit exchange (Covered California) under the Affordable Care Act. These grants are available to county government agencies – including county health systems – and county health, social services, and behavioral health departments. The grants will be disbursed by mid-2013 and the deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 18, 2012 or Friday, March 15, 2013. For more information on the grants and an application, please visit the Blue Shield Foundation of California Grant Site or contact Richard Thomason, Program Officer, at (415) 229-5292. CSAC wishes to thank Richard and the Blue Shield Foundation of California for their continued support of counties as we move forward with the Bridge to Reform Medicaid Waiver, County Low Income Health Programs, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Health Care Reform Implementation Bills Introduced

With the 2013-14 legislative session only days old, legislators have introduced several major measures related to the implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). While these measures were introduced in the regular legislative session, they are expected to also be introduced in the special legislative session on health care reform that the Governor will likely convene in January. 
The measures include:

AB 18 (Pan) and SB 18 (Hernadez): identical measures to reform the individual coverage market consistent with the provisions of the PPACA. This measure is still in spot bill form. 

SB 20 (Hernandez): Would enact the Basic Health Program (similar to SB 677 from this year) in California for low-income people who may not be able to afford standard health care premiums offered through the 
exchange (Covered California). CSAC will support this measure. 

SB 28 (Hernandez): Expands Medi-Cal eligibility using the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) measure, eliminated the Medi-Cal asset test, and outlines the benefit package for the newly eligible MAGI population. 

All of the above policy decisions must be implemented in 2013 in order for California to be able to begin enrollment in the exchange and Medi-Cal (presuming the state proceeds with the Medi-Cal expansion) on January 1, 2014. 

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