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Feds Ask California For Plan To Fix Medi-Cal Backlog

Aired 7/10/14 on KPBS News.

The Obama Administration has given California until Monday to submit plans to reduce a massive backlog of people waiting for Medi-Cal coverage.

The Obama administration has asked California and five other states to submit plans to resolve their backlog of Medicaid applications.

In California, Medi-Cal applications are supposed to be processed within 45 days. But Medi-Cal officials say since Obamacare was introduced last fall, they’ve been inundated with requests for coverage.

Norman William, spokesman for the California Department of Healthcare Services, said his agency has reduced the backlog by 300,000 people since May.

“But we’re not satisfied. We want to get these people into coverage," Williams explained. "So we’re working with counties, we’re working with Covered California, and we’re examining the system each and every day to find solutions, and to move people into coverage as quickly as possible.”

Williams also pointed out the backlog is not static. People are being approved every day, and new applications come in.

Since the end of March, more than 800,000 people have successfully enrolled in the Medi-Cal program.

Williams said the state will send its improvement plan to the federal government by Monday.

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