2016-17: County Medi-Cal Administration Funding

Budget Priority

The final 2016-17 budget agreement includes $169.9 million total funds for workload associated with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This funding will be provided in 2016-17 and again in 2017-18, with work to begin on a new budgeting methodology that would take effect no sooner than 2018-19. This funding was included in the original budget proposed by the Governor in January after months of work between CWDA and the Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Finance last fall.

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act and related expansions to Medi-Cal eligibility have resulted in an unprecedented growth in the number of Californians enrolled in the program, from 7.6 million enrollees in December 2012 to a projected 13.5 million by 2016-17.

The 2016-17 budget assumes that the Medi-Cal caseload will increase 8.1 percent from 2014-15 to 2015-16 (an estimated 727,000 new cases), and grow another 1.5 percent from 2015-16 to 2016-17 (an estimated 62,000 new cases). The steep increase in caseload has been coupled with a sharp increase in manual work for county eligibility staff. A significant amount of that workload is due to glitches with the CalHEERS enrollment system developed by the California Department of Health Care Services and Covered California to implement the ACA. Improvements to CalHEERS continue to be developed and deployed, with active participation from CWDA. In addition, the Medi-Cal program continues to be a complex program that will require the detailed attention of county eligibility staff for years to come, regardless of system improvements.

CWDA appreciates the Administration’s recognition the program’s growth and system workload has placed on counties, and requests the Legislature’s support for the Governor’s proposed level of funding for county administration of the Medi-Cal program.