Integration of Non-Health Benefit Services by Covered CA
by Wendy Barnett
In August Covered California added some new features to the Covered California Application . One feature provides easier access to non-health benefit services to consumers with income less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Some of the programs that will be offered include CalFresh and CalWorks. Applicants are given two options to apply for additional benefits that they may need.
The options can be found after the application has been submitted. Located on the eligibility page under “Additional Benefit Options,” an applicant may click on the provided link and a new window will open. Covered CA then provides these instructions :
“Based on the information you have provided it appears you may be eligible for additional assistance including food assistance. In order to determine your eligibility, you are encouraged to click on the Apply Now button.”
The applicant may then select up to 3 available forms of assistance:
- CalFresh – A food assistance program to help you with the cost of buying food for your household
- CalWORKS – A welfare program that gives cash aid and services to eligible needy families to help pay for housing, food, and other necessary expenses
- Non-MAGI Medi-Cal – Offers assistance to elderly, disabled, long-term-care, and some others but uses different qualifiers than MAGI Medi-Cal
And then the applicant will see 2 options on how to apply:
- Share My Information (allows a referral to go to the programs that you chose and you will be contacted later)
- Apply Now (allows you to link to a separate Department of Social Services application to apply directly with the programs that you chose)
Covered CA emphasizes that if the consumer desires a more streamlined process to get enrolled more quickly, then the best option is to choose “Apply Now”. This new feature allows Californians to use a “one door” approach to apply for healthcare and now other assistance programs for individual and families in the lower income range.
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