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Federal Audit Finds State Enrolled Thousands Of People In Medi-Cal Program Who Were Ineligible

Dr. Leonid Basovich, left, examines Medi-Cal patient Michael Epps, at the Wel...

Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Above: Dr. Leonid Basovich, left, examines Medi-Cal patient Michael Epps, at the WellSpace Clinic in Sacramento, California, February 2016.

California may have gone too far in its zeal to expand the Medi-Cal program.

An audit from the U.S. Health & Human Services Inspector General found the state enrolled an estimated 450,000 people in the Medi-Cal program who may have been ineligible.

The Inspector General’s audit is based on an examination of 150 Medi-Cal beneficiaries. It covers the period from October 2014 to March 2015. That’s when California was in the early stages of expanding the Medi-Cal program under the Affordable Care Act.

Auditors say during that time frame, California spent more than $1.1 billion on Medi-Cal patients who were either ineligible or potentially ineligible for benefits.

The audit found fault with the state’s computer system used for verifying eligibility. It also found mistakes by caseworkers.

California officials said they have taken steps to address the problems identified in the audit.

It’s not known whether the federal government will seek reimbursement from the state.

A federal audit reveals the state mistakenly enrolled an estimated 450,000 people in the Medi-Cal program.

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