Federal changes to impact Placer County CalFresh and Medi-Cal recipients
Published March 7, 2023
Following changes in the federal budget passed by Congress earlier this year, Placer County residents who are receiving CalFresh or Medi-Cal benefits will be impacted this spring as many pandemic-era emergency measures come to an end.
CALFRESH: Starting in April 2023, CalFresh households will stop receiving the extra, monthly COVID-19 payment, or “emergency allotment” they have been receiving. These extra payments started in 2020 during the pandemic and will end in March 2023. Households will feel the impact of the loss in April 2023, when they only receive their regular CalFresh payment, which will continue to come within the first 10 days of each month.
Emergency allotments were an extra benefit in addition to regular CalFresh amounts and accounted for roughly $182 on average per household a month for Placer County residents during the federal Public Health Emergency. The resulting decline in CalFresh EBT spending could also impact local grocers and restaurants since CalFresh dollars are generally spent locally and drive economic activity.
While Placer County Human Services does not have the authority to continue emergency allotments past the expiration date, in order to receive your maximum benefit it is important to make sure we have your most recent information (household size, income, childcare and other costs) by double-checking your account at benefitscal.com. For those with questions about the end of emergency allotments, call 1-888-445-1955.
MEDI-CAL: The continuous enrollment provision – which had kept people continuously enrolled in Medicaid programs during the federal Public Health Emergency – will come to a close at the end of March 2023, meaning California will restart yearly eligibility reviews to decide if you or your family member(s) still qualify for Medi-Cal health coverage.
It is important to login to your account at benefitscal.com to make sure we have your current address, phone number and email address – along with other updated information – so that you can be reached in a timely manner about your coverage. Letters about Medi-Cal coverage and renewals are expected to be mailed to clients in colored envelopes in waves starting in April.
“Our team has continued to discuss eligibility factors with clients throughout the pandemic, so we are hopeful that this will soften the impact of this change,” said Human Services Director Greg Geisler. “Nonetheless, it’s still very important to update personal information and stay on alert.”
Placer County Human Services is working with state and community partners to ensure that the more than 45,000 households across the county who receive Medi-Cal, CalFresh or both receive timely notifications in advance of these changes, from text and email messages to social media and in-person outreach. Our office can be reached at 1-888-385-5160.
Residents can also call 211 Placer to be connected with other community food and healthcare resources. Households interested in newly applying for benefits can visit gethelpplacer.com to check their eligibility and begin the process.