California Exceeds Low Income Health Program Enrollment Goal

The Department of Health Care Services announced this morning that enrollment in the County-based Low Income Health Program (LIHP) has exceeded the target number of 512,000.

The Low Income Health Program is a partnership between the County, State, and Federal governments that was made possible by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the 1115 Waiver.  The Affordable Care Act expands Medi-Cal to low-income adults without dependent children in 2014, but California was granted a waiver to begin the program early.  The LIHP began enrollment in 10 counties on July 1, 2011 and as of this summer, 50 counties were participating.

As of the most recent enrollment reports, 552,553 Californians have been enrolled in LIHP across the state.  The US Census Bureau reported this week that while poverty remains at record high levels, more Americans are getting health care coverage.  Thanks to programs like LIHP and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act, falling on hard times no longer means you and your family must lose health coverage or suffer from lack of access to care.

We congratulate DHCS and the 50 LIHP counties on their hard work to make this program happen in such a short time period, but would also encourage the 8 remaining counties to get their LIHPs up and running to serve their low income residents.  We encourage advocates in Fresno, Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties to call or write to their local Boards of Supervisors to advocate for starting LIHP as soon as possible.