California wants to expand Medi-Cal and help those in need of help with buying groceries


California – The federal health insurance program for low-income individuals, Medi-Cal (Medicaid), will soon be able to assist patients in purchasing groceries.

On February 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) asked California to make a special program that helps Medicaid patients get groceries bigger and available all over the state.

California isn’t the only one; North Carolina and Massachusetts also want to make this program bigger, says CMS.

Last year, California tried this program in places where many people don’t have a lot of money, like Los Angeles and Alameda. People really liked it, so now they want to do it everywhere in the state.

This program is about helping people with health problems like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure by telling them what food to eat, like vegetables and fruits. It’s paid for by the California Medi-Cal program (CalAIM).

People in the program get a box full of healthy food delivered to their house for free. This includes things like fruits, vegetables, chicken, and quinoa, every two weeks for up to 12 weeks from a food bank. If someone can’t get these deliveries, they’ll get money each month to help buy the food.

Along with food help, some people will get help with their housing. But, they need to have a health problem that makes them need outpatient care for a long time. They can get help paying rent for as much as six months.

California plans to make more Medi-Cal patients eligible for this program soon, in the second part of this year, but they need the okay from the government first.

Right now, about 63,000 people are getting help with food and rent from this program, says the California Department of Health Care Services.

This whole idea started in 2021 when Joe Biden was president. It’s already happening in states like Arizona, Arkansas, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington. These states use up to 3% of the money they get from the federal government for Medicaid on this food help program.

Since Biden became president, he’s increased the money the federal government gives to help families with low incomes. He wants to make healthcare and Social Security benefits better for everyone in the country.

Not just Medi-Cal users, but also people with Medicare Advantage plans can get money for groceries or have food brought to them, says the Commonwealth Fund for Healthcare Research. Also, the US Department of Agriculture has a program (called CalFresh in California) that helps pay for food too.

Monica Stanly
Monica Stanly
Monica is a key member of the US News Hub news desk, where she coordinates our daily news coverage. With a knack for spotting emerging stories and a quick decision-making ability, Monica ensures that our outlet stays ahead of the curve. Her role is crucial in maintaining the flow of news and keeping our readers informed with timely and relevant content.

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