Stanislaus health plan call center to serve other counties?
MODESTO, Mar 18, 2013 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
With more than $1 million in technology improvements, Stanislaus County's customer service center, established in May, could be expanded to assist people from two other counties who apply for Medi-Cal benefits.
The county's Community Service Agency created the call center as a more efficient way to assist residents who rely on public assistance programs. As state officials build the infrastructure for the Affordable Care Act, they want the county center to become a regional hub for callers from Stanislaus, Marin and Napa counties who seek benefits through the Medi-Cal expansion next year.
The center's call volume would increase by about 900 a month. The county would need 25 more employees to run the regional center.
Stanislaus County supervisors will consider the proposal Tuesday. The state had envisioned that San Joaquin County would be included in a four-county area served by the regional hub, but that county opted to create its own call center.
According to a staff report, expanding the Stanislaus center would require an estimated $1,010,400 in technology improvements over four years. Officials expect that federal and state Medi-Cal funding would cover the costs.
The service center would handle calls transferred from the Covered California health exchange, which was created to comply with federal health reform provisions that take effect in 2014. Starting in October, California residents and employers who are required to obtain insurance will call the exchange to review health plans.
Callers from the three counties who are newly eligible for Medi-Cal will be transferred to the Stanislaus service center. As many as 1.4 million Californians are expected to enroll in Medi-Cal as the program for low-income residents is expanded for individuals and families with higher incomes, including adults without children.
For example, a single person earning $15,415 a year and a four-member family with $31,810 in annual income will qualify for health care through the program.
In another item Tuesday, county supervisors could pass a resolution opposing a state plan to force irrigation districts in the Northern San Joaquin Valley to release more water from Sierra Nevada reservoirs in spring to improve conditions for fish.
Vito Chiesa, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, has said the state's updated water quality plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would create a hardship for agriculture. Among the entities opposing the plan are the Modesto, Turlock, Oakdale, South San Joaquin and Merced irrigation districts.
Supervisors could schedule public hearings for April 23 at 9 a.m. to consider registration and inspection fees for homemade food operations and body art studios, as well as other environmental services charges.
The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2321.
___ (c)2013 The Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.) Visit The Modesto Bee (Modesto,
Calif.) at www.modbee.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]