LAO Issues Report on Medi-Cal Caseload Figures, Estimates Administration Overstates General Fund Costs

The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recently issued a report detailing Medi-Cal caseload and cost changes included in the Governor’s FY 2020-21 May Revision. In its report, the LAO assesses the Newsom Administration’s caseload projections, determining that the Administration’s caseload figures are on track with the LAO’s Spring Fiscal Outlook. However, the LAO finds the Administration’s projection for around $3 billion in higher General Fund costs in Medi-Cal due to COVID-19-related caseload increases are more than double than what the LAO projects.

Further, the LAO raises questions around the Administration’s assumptions about the mix of Californians who are likely to join Medi-Cal, namely high new enrollment figures among seniors and persons with disabilities (who tend to have higher costs) and low new enrollment figures among parents, childless adults, and children (who tend to have lower costs). As such, the LAO estimates that the Administration’s assumptions related to new Medi-Cal entrants results in nearly $750 million in overstated General Fund costs. The LAO provides the Legislature with revised figures on caseload increases and associated costs and ultimately recommends the Legislature decrease its budget figure for Medi-Cal costs in the 2020 Budget Act.

The full LAO post is available here.