2 million Californians may need to switch insurance after Medi-Cal shakeup

Millions of Medi-Cal recipients may have to switch health insurers, and doctors, after the state awarded Molina a swath of Medicaid contracts in some of its largest counties, according to a Kaiser Health News report published by the Los Angeles Times Sept. 25. 

Molina won its largest-ever Medicaid contract Aug. 25, to manage Medi-Cal contracts in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Sacramento and San Diego counties. 

Health Net, a Centene subsidiary, stands to lose many of its members, with Molina winning contracts in Los Angeles and Sacramento counties, areas previously served by Health Net. 

John Sturm, 54, a member of Community Health Group, a Medi-Cal plan in San Diego County, said he was "shocked" to hear he will have to change health plans if the contracts are finalized. 

"Which doctors can I keep? How long is it going to take me to switch plans? Are there contingency plans when, inevitably, folks slip through the cracks?" Mr. Sturm told Kaiser Health News.

California aims to roll out the new Medi-Cal programs in 2024. The contracts are not yet final, as insurers who weren't chosen are contesting the decisions through formal appeals. Insurers that lose the appeals process will likely take their claims to court, Kaiser Health News reported, which could delay the process.

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