Child support referrals for ARC recipients

The California Department of Social Services has issued instructions about child support referrals for Adult Relative Caregiver (ARC) recipients.  ARC cases can be referred to the local child support agency for child support enforcement and ARC benefits can be recouped from collected child support.

However, an ARC recipient should not be referred for child support enforcement if the parent or guardian of a child on whose behalf ARC benefits are being received is receiving reunification services and child support will pose a barrier to reunification.  Child support can pose a barrier to reunification if child support payment will compromise the parent’s ability to meet the requirements of the reunification plan or the parent’s current or future ability to meet the financial needs of the child.

In addition, the county must determine whether there is good cause for not cooperating with local child support agency under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 11477.04.  This includes risk of harm to either the child or the parent.  ACIN I-48-16 (June 29, 2016).

Posted in ARC

IHSS provider enrollment

The California Department of Social Services has issued information about new regulations implementing IHSS provider enrollment rules and procedures.  These rules and procedures include 90 days to complete the provider enrollment process with a  possible 45 day extension for good cause, attending an in-person orientation, fingerprinting for criminal background check, notice of eligibility or ineligibility to be enrolled as a provider and waiver of disqualifying convictions.  In addition, the county will determine whether a provider has legal authority to work in the United States.

The new regulations also specify that an enrolled provider cannot be required to complete the provider enrollment process when the provider moves from one county to another.  The county that the provider moved from is obligated to give the new county the criminal background check clearance documents and the new county must accept that documentation.  ACL 16-53 (July 7, 2016).

Transitioning from Medi-Cal/MEC to Covered California with SEPs

DHCS is reminding county workers to assist MAGI Medi-Cal beneficiaries to get immediate health coverage when they are being discontinued from Medi-Cal and transitioning into Covered California during a special enrollment period.  Workers must assess individuals for non-MAGI programs first.  If the beneficiary chooses not to be evaluated or selects something else, that beneficiary will get a MAGI termination notice.

Discontinuance of MAGI Medi-Cal is a qualifying life event for a Covered California SEP, after which individuals can enroll into Covered California for up to 60 days.  While most SEPs are subject to the 15th day of the month rule to determine start date of coverage, there are exceptions:

  • Loss of MEC: Can be reported up to 60 days before and after the life event date.  The start date of Covered California coverage can be as early as the first of the month following the month in which MEC is discontinued as long as the beneficiary selects a plan and pays the premium timely.
  • Marriage/domestic partnership: Plan coverage can start on the first day of the next month after plan selection and payment regardless of when the individual makes the plan selection during that month.
  • Birth/adoption/foster care: Plan coverage can start on the date of birth of the child, adoption, or placement of foster care child, or the first of the month following the event.
  • Other less common exceptions as listed in 10 CCR 6504(h)

County workers shall assist beneficiaries with the Covered California enrollment process and advise on the need for timely health plan selection and premium payment to avoid a gap in coverage.  For Medi-Cal beneficiaries, this means selecting a plan in the same month as Medi-Cal discontinuance to have their plan start the following month.  Workers may also direct individuals to certified enrollment counselors if they are unready to select a plan.

Those with Medi-Cal share of cost coverage may qualify for an SEP if they meet their share of cost in one of the past two months and have not received an SOC SEP consideration in the calendar year.  The county must determine whether the beneficiary has met the criteria for any SEP reason, including loss of medically needy coverage.

DHCS ACWDL 16-18 (7/22/16) also includes a service center task guide on SEPs.

Hospital payments for CCS beneficiaries in Medi-Cal managed care plans

DHCS issued two all-plan letters about billing for inpatient services at both designated public hospitals (DPH) and private or non-designated public hospitals for CCS-eligible conditions of managed care Medi-Cal beneficiaries.  Generally, CCS services are paid through fee-for-service Medi-Cal, and most CCS services are carved out of managed care plans.  However, some plans carve in these services.

For services provided to a Medi-Cal beneficiary with a CCS-eligible condition enrolled in a managed care plan with a CCS carve out:

  • A hospital stay for a CCS-eligible condition must be billed entirely to Medi-Cal FFS (DPH will get a per diem, while other hospitals will get a single payment based on the diagnosis related group), with no billing to the managed care plan.
  • A hospital stay for a non-CCS eligible condition with subsequent services during the stay for a CCS-eligible condition is billed entirely to Medi-Cal FFS (again with applicable per diem or DRG), with no billing to the managed care plan.
  • A stay that includes delivery and well-baby coverage is billed entirely to the health plan.  If the baby develops a CCS-eligible condition, the baby’s entire stay will be billed to Medi-Cal FFS and not the health plan.

For services and hospital stays for a Medi-Cal beneficiary with a CCS-eligible condition enrolled in a managed care plan that covers CCS services, a beneficiary hospital stay (regardless of reasons) must be billed entirely to the managed care plan.

DHCS APL 16-007, DHCS APL 16-008 (7/18/16)

Individual Medi-Cal determinations while household is pending

DHCS recently released information about making sure that individuals determined Medi-Cal eligibility by CalHEERS should be considered eligible even when other members of the household are pending eligibility.  CalHEERS should determine the lowest potential eligibility for an individual and electronically verify eligibility and/or ask for relevant verification before placing in the appropriate program.  Counties must ensure that individuals with eligibility get authorized through SAWS without delay.  Counties must not hold the eligible

The State notes in this letter that children granted AE are to be provided eligibility immediately.  Children also are protected through continuous eligibility for children (CEC) if there is a change that would disadvantage the child or if there is loss of contact with the family.  Upon verification of an income change or loss of contact, affected children are placed in a CEC aid code until their next redetermination period.  Affected adults would be denied.

When the county recognizes a data entry error, the county should edit and rerun the CalHEERS determination.  If the county determines that an individual already receives full-scope Medi-Cal, the county can discontinue the new MAGI eligibility as long as the existing eligibility remains in MEDS.

DHCS ACWDL 16-16 (7/5/16)