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Poor may lose health coverage with pandemic's end

March 08, 2023

IN THE NEWS: With the end of California's COVID-19 emergency declaration, tens of thousands of low-income children, seniors and people with chronic diseases in Orange County are expected to lose healthcare benefits, said Dr. José Mayorga, executive director of UCI Health Family Health Centers.

On Feb. 28, Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the emergency declaration, which had allowed people to stay enrolled in the state's low-income health program, MediCal, without income eligibility checks since March, 2020. Eligibility reviews are expected to resume in April, which may cut up to 15% of enrollees in CalOptima, Orange County's low-income health program, because of disqualifying income increases.

“I think we really are underestimating the impact it’s going to have,” Mayorga, who also serves on the CalOptima board of directors, told the Voice of OC.

For doctors and other healthcare professionals seeing patients, he added, "The last thing you want to do is turn people away, or not get them referred ... to receive services from specialists or imaging or surgeries.”

Read more:

"End of COVID Emergency Means Loss of Healthcare for Up to 146,000 Poor OC Residents" ›

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