The launch of the Affordable Care Act enrollment has boosted by thousands the number of San Mateo County families receiving Medi-Cal benefits, according to the county’s Human Services Agency.
The county has 39,365 families on Medi-Cal currently, which is a 19 percent increase — or, 6,278 families — from a year ago. In October 2012, there were 33,087 families, said HSA spokeswoman Effie Verducci.
In comparison, she said, the year between October 2011 and 2012 saw a 6 percent caseload uptick.
The county has a call center in Belmont for those hoping to sign up for health care coverage either through expanded Medi-Cal or the subsidized programs effective Jan. 1 that have been taking most of the heat as critics take aim at costs and enrollment glitches.
Residents have two enrollment options — contacting health exchange Covered California directly or the county center where a worker can process both Medi-Cal and other plan applications.
The center, which has zero wait times for both direct calls and transfers from Covered California, has received 5,332 calls related to health insurance, Verducci said.
The local center received more than 2,200 health insurance applications in October of which most were for Medi-Cal. Approximately 50 applications were submitted for the applied premium tax credit, otherwise known as the subsidized program. Approximately 230 applications were for the modified adjusted gross income Medi-Cal.
Locally, the enrollment expectation is up to 51,000 under Medi-Cal in the next 12 to 15 months and serving up to 38,000 families who qualify for subsidies.
The ACA expansion of Medi-Cal made an estimated 13,000 new county residents eligible for Covered California exchange plans and about 4,000 enrollees in ACE — the county’s low-income health coverage program Access and Care for Everyone — are also eligible. Of those, the Health System expects about half to switch in the first year.
Information on enrollment is available at www.coveredca.com, www.mybenefitscalwin, (800) 223-8383 or any of the Human Services Agency regional offices. The Covered California phone hours through March are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102