State Outlines Plan to Transition Low-Income Health Program to Medi-Cal

State officials last week said more than 90% of Low Income Health Program enrollees will be able to keep their primary care physician when LIHP is folded into the Medi-Cal expansion in 2014.

Brian Hansen, health reform advisor in the director’s office at the Department of Health Care Services, made the prediction as one of about a dozen state agency experts who spoke Thursday at a conference in Sacramento, “At the Forefront: LIHP Transition Prepares California for Health Reform,” put on by DHCS and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

“Over 90% of enrollees will be assigned to their current LIHP primary care provider. We will do that to the extent that it’s possible,” Hansen said. Since LIHP was designed as a bridge to 2014 health care reform efforts, most of the roughly 628,000 people now in LIHP will move to Medi-Cal in January. State officials have estimated that approximately 24,000 of LIHP enrollees would move to the Covered California health benefit exchange instead.

That means that more than 603,000 enrollees making the move to Medi-Cal will see little change in their care, Hansen said.

Read full California Healthline article here…