Many Californian who received health insurance through Medi-Cal are also eligible to receive CalFresh – and vice-versa. With both health coverage and nutrition assistance, families with low incomes can have better health and greater opportunity. The challenge is that California has been the best state at signing up eligible people for health coverage, but historically among the worst at signing up eligible people for CalFresh. The Alliance to Transform CalFresh (ATC) maintains that enrolling CalFresh-eligible Medi-Cal clients is a key strategy for improving the CalFresh participation rate.
On January 31, 2017, the ATC hosted the Dual Enrollment Summit: New Strategies to Maximize Program Efficiency and Enrollment at the Capital Event Center in Sacramento. 68 participants attended, representing the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), the Department of Health Care Services, the CalWIN and C-IV Consortium, 22 counties, and 7 advocacy and community-based organizations. The following day, the CalFresh Forum also included a break-out session on Strategies to Increase Medi-Cal and CalFresh Dual Enrollment.
Jeff Lasiter, Manager of the CalFresh Outreach Unit, presented CDSS’ perspective on the importance of maximizing dual enrollment between CalFresh and Medi-Cal. His presentation provided an overview of the methodology that ATC and CDSS have developed together to identify Medi-Cal participants that are the most likely to be eligible for CalFresh using Medi-Cal aid codes. CDSS has yet to finalize that methodology and post related metrics for counties. See the SF-Marin Food Bank’s summary of the proposed methodology here.
Adam Dondro, CDSS’ Assistant Director for Horizontal Integration, presented on the digital mechanism for sending Medi-Cal applicants on the Covered California website to apply for CalFresh. The new design informs Medi-Cal applicants that they may be eligible for CalFresh and CalWORKs based on the information they provided. They can choose to “Apply Now,” starting an online application for those benefits. See his presentation here.
San Francisco Efforts – Outbound Call Campaign
Tiana Wertheim, Program Manager at the San Francisco Human Services Agency, and Peri Weisberg, Senior Analyst from San Francisco Human Services Agency shared the work that their county has been doing to reach likely-CalFresh-eligible Medi-Cal participants:
San Francisco has contracted with San Diego 211 to conduct an outbound call campaign.
Most recently, San Francisco has refined their method for identifying likely-CalFresh-eligible cases by implementing the ATC’s aid code methodology along with additional refinements from local SAWS data. They have reviewed the demographics of the population that is not receiving CalFresh and aligned their strategies according to which populations have had the most success in local CalFresh Outreach work and San Diego 211’s efforts to date. The result of that analysis is a tailored outbound call campaign targeted toward older adults in the coming months, supported by the collaboration of the SF-Marin Food Bank, and other local CBOs. Text campaigns and other “lower touch” approaches will be considered for other key populations, such as families with children or young adults.
San Francisco has also pursued parallel strategies of staff training to “rebut” typically reasons that clients resist applying for CalFresh, as well as measuring and celebrating unit or worker-level dual enrollment successes.
Alameda Efforts – Prefilled CalFresh Applications with Medi-Cal Recertification Packets
Alisa Loveman, CalFresh Program Specialist from Alameda County Social Services Agency, presented the dual enrollment pilot that they are undertaking in partnership with the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Encouraged by “All In, Alameda County,” an initiative of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the ACSSA sought to increase CalFresh enrollment among Medi-Cal clients as seamlessly as possible, and with the least possible onus on the client.
The county is sending pre-populated CalFresh applications to 20,000 households over the course of the next year. Applications are:
CalWIN has developed a separate service request to make this pilot possible, including a CalWIN application source name to be able to track applications received a result of the mailing.
For the batch 1,800 packets mailed in October, the county had received 232 returned pre-populated applications as of January 27th (13% return rate).
Workgroups formed on the following topics:
What can you do next to promote dual enrollment?
Use these tools for getting the ball rolling in your county: