California is planning to combine the services offered by Medicare and Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicaid program, streamlining the administrative aspects of both into one body. The hope is that a managed health care system will eliminate the confusion, mistakes and crippling amount of overhead that has been the hallmark of juggling both Medicare and Medi-Cal.
There are more than one million elderly people in the state who have been working with this dual system. Gov. Jerry Brown has said that he estimates at least 500 million dollars will be saved by combing the two. The concern, of course, is that combining the two systems may simply be untenable. This new, managed care system will have to oversee the federally funded Medicare, plus the state-federal Medi-Cal, as well as social services.
The new system will be put into place after October 1 of this year as part of a three-year experiment in the Orange County area. For someone who is sick, dealing with three separate administrative entities, with multiple insurance plans and services can be overwhelming. Hopefully this new system will make managing care as painless as possible.
If you have concerns about your long-term care or managed care plans, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Gilfix & La Poll.