Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-05), representatives from Sacramento County and Molina Healthcare joined together to celebrate the launch of Sacramento County's Low Income Health Program (LIHP). Sacramento County has been approved by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to launch a LIHP as a Medicaid Coverage Expansion (MCE) initiative. Molina Healthcare of California has agreed to administer the program. A number of community health clinics including local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), Sutter Health and Dignity Health are part of the contracted LIHP network. Kaiser Permanente has agreed to participate in LIHP pending successful completion of contract negotiations. These are scheduled to begin later this month.
"LIHP is a bridge to health care reform ensuring Sacramento County residents have the health care coverage they need until full implementation of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014," said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. "Tremendous work has gone into getting us to this point, and LIHP is a true testament to the commitment these providers in our region have to serving those in need."
"The County has been working intensively with Molina Healthcare to build the infrastructure for the LIHP. We are very pleased because this hard work at the front end of the program means when health care reform is implemented in 2014, our consumers will not need to change providers. This will be a seamless transition for them, and a significant benefit, preventing a great deal of stress that is incurred when consumers change providers," said Sandy Damiano, PhD, Deputy Director, Primary Health Services, DHHS.
LIHP is a managed care health plan that will allow Sacramento County residents who do not qualify for Medi-Cal to receive health care coverage until, due to the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid program expands to all non-Medicare eligible individuals in 2014. Sacramento County has contracted with Molina Healthcare to manage the LIHP program.
"Because Molina Healthcare of California already contracts with the state and operates a health plan for individuals with Medi-Cal in Sacramento County, we were a natural choice as a partner for the LIHP," said Richard Chambers, president of Molina Healthcare of California. "As the administrator for the program, Molina Healthcare will provide all the operations support for running the program. In fact through the LIHP, residents of Sacramento will have access to all the services and expertise that Molina Healthcare has gained through providing healthcare to more than 350,000 low-income California residents today. For example, LIHP enrollees will be able to call the Molina Nurse Advice Line and receive health care advice and direction from a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
Under the county's plan, 10,000-14,000 childless adults between 19-64 years of age whose income is less than 67% FPL will be enrolled in the LIHP. During Phase One enrollment, many County Medically Indigent Service Program (CMISP) beneficiaries will transition. The Department of Human Assistance (DHA) will screen applications (the same application packet currently used for CMISP applications). 700-800 new eligibles are expected each month. Molina has the responsibility to send each new enrollee a packet of materials, informing them of the program, the services they are eligible for, giving them a membership card and the name of their medical home. Under the current health reform legislation, LIHP enrollees will transition into Medi-Cal Managed Care coverage beginning January 1, 2014.
The program will begin providing services in November of 2012.