California Counties’ LIHP Enrollment Nears 650,000 and Primary Care Networks in Place as California’s Safety Nets Prepare for January 1, 2014 Transition to the Affordable Care Act
|November 15, 2013||Posted by Lucien Wulsin under Blog||
California counties are leading the state’s head start on health reform enrollment. As of August 2013, the latest available data, 648,508 individuals are enrolled in LIHPs and ready for auto-enrollment in the ACA coverage expansions on January 1, 2014. 624,403 individuals are Medi-Cal eligible and 24,105 individuals are Covered California eligible.
Los Angeles County has enrolled nearly 294,000 individuals, followed by Alameda with nearly 49,000, Orange with 45,000 and San Diego totaling 40,000. The small rural CMSP counties have over 63,000 individuals enrolled. See http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/Pages/ProgramReports.aspx
News headlines of slow enrollment are missing the fact that ACA enrollment is not limited to the Exchange web sites, but comes in many ways in addition to the recently opened online applications. Most (53 of 58) California counties have been preparing their enrollment since 2010 and ten California counties have been enrolling their residents in this precedent setting program since 2008.
Another component of this story being missed is that all enrollees have an assigned primary care physician, and the program already has implemented many of the most critical delivery system reforms that are able to dramatically reduce the use of hospital emergency rooms and avoidable hospitalizations. Pourat, N. et al, Safety Net Delivery Redesign: Innovations in the Low Income Health Program (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, November 2013) at http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/publications/search/pages/detail.aspx?PubID=1235