Covered California Glitch: Dropping Coverage for Pregnant Woman

Rep. Ami Bera and 15 members of the California delegation are pushing the heads of California Health and Human Services and the California Health Benefit Exchange in a letter to address a computer glitch that is terminating Covered California Care for pregnant women.

California Healthline/Kaiser Health News reported April 18 that about 1,900 women across the state have been automatically transferred from the Covered California health insurance exchange to Medi-Cal since October, even though they were supposed to have the option to stay with Covered California. The article appeared in the Sacramento Bee.

Amy Palmer, the agency’s director of communications, told the Bee that the problem was caused by a computer glitch that will not be fixed until September.

Bera and the letter signers say that isn’t acceptable.

“While we appreciate your efforts to ensure women can switch between plans, we remain concerned that until the problem is fixed in late 2016, women will continue to be unenrolled from their Covered California plans and lose access to their current medical providers,” the letter states.

Bera said in an interview that as a doctor he is worried about pregnant women losing healthcare access for any time. Bera practiced medicine in the Sacramento area and was a dean at UC Davis.

“When someone is pregnant, you want them to get continuous prenatal care,” Bera said. “We’re just trying to put a little pressure on Covered California. There’s no reason we should have to wait until September.”

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