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Proof of Citizenship Update


Medi–Cal to Verify Citizenship and Identity for
Some Applicants and Beneficiaries

California is moving closer to implementing a controversial federal law (Deficit Reduction Act of 2005) that requires citizens applying for Medi–Cal to prove citizenship and identity at the time of application or redetermination. Despite a July 1, 2006 effective date, California has yet to implement these requirements.

Due to tremendous concern about the potential consequences of this ill–conceived law, the California Department of Health Services (DHS) sought widespread comment on its proposed implementation rules. Hundreds of advocates submitted comments on proposed rules contained in a draft July 11, 2006 All County Welfare Directors Letter (ACWDL). On February 22, 2007, DHS held a public hearing in Sacramento to get comments on a second draft of the proposed rules. At that time, DHS reported it would implement the requirements soon but did not give a precise date.

Once DHS finalizes its rules, it will mail information to all current Medi–Cal beneficiaries and begin including information in Medi–Cal application and redetermination packets.

Fortunately, many people are exempt from the verification requirements, including all Medicare and SSI beneficiaries. Additionally, the new requirements apply ONLY to citizens. The federal law does NOT change the way non–citizens apply, or qualify for Medi–Cal, and non–citizens are not affected by the new requirements.

For more information, contact CANHR. The ACWDL and pertinent federal and California laws and regulations can be found at: http://www.dhs.ca.gov/mcs/DRA/