Medi-Cal: Keep Kids Covered

Medi-Cal: Keep Kids Covered

All Children Deserve Health Care

Over half of California kids rely on Medi-Cal. It should be there for them. But between June to September of 2023 alone, 150,000 children have been dropped from care–almost all because of procedural reasons. Changes are needed NOW to stop more kids and families from losing their Medi-Cal coverage. Short-term: pause disenrollments. Long-term: put in place continuous coverage protections. 

We Can Protect Young Children’s Medi-Cal Coverage

Our Goal: Get California Governor Gavin Newsom to fund and greenlight implementation of continuous Medi-Cal coverage protections for young children in his January budget.

Key Actions

1. Letters to California Governor Gavin Newsom

The Children’s Partnership and partners sent three letters urging Gov. Newsom to fund and greenlight implementation of Continuous Medi-Cal Coverage for young kids in his January budget. The latest letter sign-ons closed December 8, 2023.

2. Social Media Actions

The #KeepKidsCovered Twitter chat made a splash on Thursday, December 7, 2023, and the #KeepKidsCovered Twitter storm happened November 30, 2023. Dozens of partners and allies joined in. You can still help turn up the volume. Use the social media toolkit.

Medi-Cal Coverage Protection Background & Messaging

1. Families are being kicked off Medi-Cal when they shouldn’t be. 

  • Families who have Medi-Cal are being kicked off for procedural reasons: 
    • Not getting a renewal package in the mail
    • Having a hard time filling it out
    • Not being able to reach a Medi-Cal worker 
  • Families are trying to follow the rules to renew, but they keep getting held up along the way.
  • Often families don’t know their Medi-Cal coverage is gone until they need care. This awful surprise makes it so children can’t get treatment when they are sick or hurting.

“We took [our sick daughter] to the doctor’s office. They told us about her not being covered and we were shocked. They never told us nor explained anything about their limits or anything.”

— Spanish-speaking Mixtec Male Parent/Guardian, Oxnard, TCP Focus Group

2. It can be hard for families to figure out how to re-enroll their children without help.

  • For families who aren’t automatically renewed, it can be so hard to navigate the system that they end up losing time, money and hope. 
  • Many families cannot complete renewal forms because long call wait times leave their questions unanswered.
  • The difficulty of re-enrolling hits families with language and other barriers hardest.

“It gets more complicated to enroll every day. They have more requirements every day. It has taken such a long time! I’ve had to pay for it with my time — missing work to be on the phone.”

– Spanish-speaking male Parent/Guardian, San Bernardino, TCP Focus Group

3. Changes are needed NOW to stop kids and families from losing health coverage.

  • California wants people to stay enrolled, and has opted in to many federal flexible tools to keep people enrolled. There’s a state outreach campaign and program changes happening. 
  • Still, hundreds of thousands of enrollees keep losing coverage each month. 
  • California leaders agreed to implement continuous coverage for children 0-5 in the 2021-22 budget but have yet to put forward the resources to do so. It’s time to make good on our promise.
  • The system needs fixes that make sense. And it has to happen NOW. The need is immediate.

“My son needed some vaccines in order to go to school, so I went to the doctor’s, and they told me I didn’t have coverage anymore and I had to pay. I didn’t have any money to pay for it. So, I had to wait some time, to be able to renew it.”

– Spanish-speaking female Parent/Guardian, San Bernardino, TCP Focus Group