Covered Cal building ‘bridge’

covered-california-logoCovered California is seeking federal approval for its proposal to offer “bridge” plans to families who go in and out of eligibility for Medi-Cal.

Those families would then be allowed to purchase health insurance through the Covered California health exchange, which is being set up in response to the Affordable Care Act. About 15 percent of Medi-Cal families lose coverage via temporary increases in income, the state health benefit exchange says.

As many as 670,000 Californians could benefit from the health-coverage bridge during 2014. The Covered California board said it would offer this gap protection “at the earliest date possible in 2014.”

“This plan will provide affordable, consistent health care for many low-income Californians when a modest increase in their income makes them ineligible for Medi-Cal, but private insurance is still too expensive,” Covered California board chairman Diana Dooley said.

Parents of children enrolled in the Healthy Families Program also would be eligible.

The board also seeks to expand bridge plan eligibility to people with income below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Covered California is overseen by a five-member board.

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