BY EMILY BAZAR / CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST
Published: Aug. 26, 2014 Updated: Aug. 27, 2014 8:01 a.m.
A worrisome trend is emerging among some Californians who thought they were safe and secure under Covered California: Their plans are being canceled without consent and sometimes without notice.
Take Ricki Manahan, who lives in Truckee, a mountain town north of Lake Tahoe. Manahan and her husband signed up for an Anthem plan from Covered California early this year.
They paid their premiums, but out of nowhere last month, the couple received new insurance cards in the mail for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, which provides publicly funded insurance to low-income residents.
Manahan is still trying to figure out what happened, but she does know that her Covered California plan was canceled without her input or permission.
She also worries about Medi-Cal, a stressed program that soon will cover 30 percent of Californians. Finding doctors who accept Medi-Cal is even more challenging than finding doctors who participate in Covered California’s limited networks, and Manahan fears she’ll have to pay cash outside of Medi-Cal to get seen.
“They’re doing things without notifying anyone and canceling people,” she says. “I’m confused and upset.”
I don’t blame her. And she’s not alone. A growing number of Californians with Covered California plans are learning – sometimes through happenstance – that their plans no longer exist. Some, like Manahan, are getting shunted into Medi-Cal. Others are dropped outright.
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