Medi-Cal to cover nearly one-third of Californians

California now expects enrollment in the Medi-Cal program to grow by 46 percent by the end of the 2014-15 budget year, with 800,000 of those new enrollees not part of the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA provided nearly full federal funding — starting at 100 percent and then phasing down to 90 percent — for those low-income people who were given coverage for the first time under the rules included in the health reform law. But people who were already eligible for Medi-Cal but not using and now enroll because of the outreach and attention focused on the reforms will be paid for under the traditional 50-50 split of costs between the state and federal governments.

Those 800,000 new enrollees will cost the state an additional $1.2 billion beyond what Gov. Jerry Brown proposed in January, Brown said in his revised budget May 13.

Within two years, Brown expects 11.5 million people, or about 30 percent of the state’s population, to get their care through Medi-Cal.

–Daniel Weintraub

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