As the countdown for the Medi-Cal expansion to cover all low-income children regardless of immigration status continues, a new health4all kids online toolkit was unveiled last week to educate and provide key facts about the expansion.
The www.health4allkids.org website includes basic information and frequently asked question about the health4all kid Medi-Cal expansion in English and Spanish.
The website was created by children, immigrant, and health advocates and organizations as a resource for families impacted by the Medi-Cal expansion and organizations that help families.
“This has been a collective effort by a number of organizations,” said Fatima Morales, policy and outreach associate with Children Now.
Last year, California legislators expanded full-scope Medi-Cal to cover all lower-income children under 19 years old regardless of their immigration status.
Approximately 170,000 undocumented children in California will gain access to health coverage for the first time ever as soon as May 16. California became the state with the largest immigrant population to provide health care coverage to low-income undocumented children.
Morales said the organization hosted a ‘Medi-Cal Expansion & Health4All Kids: Tools and Resources for Communities’ webinar on April 20 where approximately 650 individuals and organizations from across the state attended in listening form.
This webinar discussed the upcoming changes to children’s health coverage, look into implementation challenges, and shared strategies for community groups to tailor outreach efforts to ensure that eligible children are enrolled in full-scope Medi-Cal as soon as possible.
The webinar was sponsored by California Coverage & Health Initiatives, California Immigrant Policy Center, Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund-California, Community Health Councils, Inc., Health Access, National Health Law Program, National Immigration Law Center, PICO California, The Children’s Partnership, United Ways of California, and Western Center on Law and Poverty.
“This law is so import for children all over the state and people have so many questions. When does it go live, what it covers,” Morales said of the launching of the website.
Morales said their vision with this new toolkit is to be a one stop shop any body who is interested to learn more about the expansion.
“We want to educate,” she said.
Morales said children, immigrant and health advocates in the state wants families with undocumented children who would benefit from the Medi-Cal expansion to get ready for the expansion if they currently don’t have restricted-scope Medi-Cal also known as emergency Medi-Cal for their children.
Of the Department of Health Care Services’ 170,000 estimated eligible children for full-scope Medi-Cal, an estimated 114,981 are already enrolled in restricted-scope Medi-Cal benefits.
“This is why is so important if they aren’t currently enroll in restricted-scope Medical. Please connect with an enroller in your community, a clinic, or the county to enroll. You don’t have to wait,” Morales said of the importance of parents to enroll their children in restricted-scope now.
The remaining 55,019 undocumented immigrant children don’t receive any Medi-Cal benefits. DHCS estimates that 50 percent of those undocumented children who don’t receive any Medi-Cal benefit will get enroll in coverage over a 12-month period, once the program is operational.
“We are encouraging them to sign up and when the time comes, you don’t have to fill out any new paper work,” Morales said.
This is an exiting opportunity for all children in California.”
Fatima Morales, policy and outreach associate with Children Now.
According to advocates, by enrolling their children in restricted-scope Medi-Cal now, parents can help to make sure their children are enrolled in full-scope coverage as soon as the expansion takes place later in May.
“There is great information on the website,” Morales said, adding that at the end of the day, this law is going to be about local implementation of the expansion.
Morales said the goal is for the law to be implemented as quickly and seamless as possible and hopes the website provides the tools to local community organizations as well as families to have a place to go if they have questions about the expansion.
“We wanted to make sure we have something available before May 16 and online so people can access it from anywhere,” Morales said.
“This is an exiting opportunity for all children in California,” Morales said, adding they want parents to take advantage of this new benefit for their children as soon as possible.
How to Enroll in Medi-Cal
Medi-Cal enrollment is available year round. You can enroll your child online, over the phone, or in person. Learn more about the options below. Your child will be enrolled in restricted-scope Medi-Cal until the expansion goes into effect on May 16.
Find In-Person Help
To apply online, visit www.coveredca.com/medi-cal. Complete your application online or print and mail.
You can call Covered California directly to apply at 1(800) 300-1506.
California’s 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service connects families to needed benefits by providing timely, effective access to accurate and comprehensive information and referral for families, including health coverage. 2-1-1 is available 24/7, provides bilingual services, and is free. www.211california.org.