California’s In-Person Assistance (IPA) Program Provides New Opportunity for School Districts

As part of California’s outreach and enrollment efforts related to health reform, school districts have an opportunity through the In-Person Assistance Program (IPA) to become Certified Enrollment Entities (CEEs) and receive compensation for successful enrollment and re-enrollment of students and families into Medi-Cal or Covered California health plans.

School Medicaid Link

Schools have long been a key point of access to health coverage for low-income children and their families. Furthermore, facilitation of the Medi-Cal eligibility and application process is a reimbursable activity through California’s school-based Medi-Cal Administrative Activities (MAA) program.

Previously, several school districts worked with or employed Certified Application Assister (CAAs) staff. CAAs played a large roll in linking children and their families to Medi-Cal and the Healthy Families Program. Following this year’s transition of Healthy Families beneficiaries into Medi-Cal, and with the advent of new health plan options for an expanded Medi-Cal population, a new program has been developed for health plan application assisters.

This new program is known as the In-Person Assistance (IPA) program, also referred to as the Enrollment Assistance Program. The IPA is a key component of California’s outreach and enrollment efforts aimed at reaching the more than 5.3 million uninsured Californians that are eligible for health coverage under California’s new health exchange marketplace, Covered California.

The Opportunity

School districts are eligible to become Certified Enrollment Entities (CEEs), whose role and responsibility is to, “conduct public education activities to raise awareness about the availability of Covered California health plans” and manage affiliate CECs. School district staff that routinely perform enrollment assistance would be eligible to become Certified Enrollment Counselors (CECs) and affiliate with a school district or other entity that is enrolled as a CEE; staff that were previously certified as CAAs are great candidates to undergo the additional training on new health plans and become CECs.

When a CEC enrolls a child or family into Medi-Cal, not only is this a reimbursable MAA program activity but, through the IPA program, compensation for each successful enrollment and re-enrollment is made to the CEC’s affiliate CEE.

Program resources are listed below for California school districts interested in the opportunity to participate in the IPA program. These include the CEE and CEC application and information on training, fingerprinting, and other participation requirements.

IPA Program Resources