Eligibility Workers from Fresno, Kern, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties traveled to Sacramento June 19 to speak in support of using our expertise when services are reshaped under health care reform.
As 2 million more people will become eligible for Medi-Cal under health care reform in 2014, industry leaders are grappling with how to enroll the upcoming wave of applicants.
One idea is to implement call centers to help meet that need. But who will staff these calls centers? Members attended the Health Care Exchange Board meeting in Sacramento June 19 to say: Instead of contracting out enrollment work to the private sector, we believe that county workers are BEST qualified to staff these centers.
“While SEIU in California has not yet developed a unified position, we are confident that counties are the most efficient and effective option for call centers,” said Roseann Berthron-Arechiga, a Santa Clara County Eligibility Worker. “Counties already have the critical infrastructure such as call centers and trained staff throughout the state.”
SEIU 521 Eligibility Workers are highly skilled professionals with the training, knowledge, and expertise in guiding people through the complex eligibility and enrollment process.
Our workers serve in the front lines each day, providing eligibility services to families who are in need.
We are currently serving 8 million Medi-Cal patients now. We are best prepared to do the intake and continuing case management for all Medi-cal families.
521 Eligibility Workers also have the ability to provide the best customer experience by serving the whole client by integrating Medi-Cal eligibility with other critical social services such as CalFRESH.
So it wouldn’t make sense to try to start a call center from scratch. Statewide computer systems have repeatedly failed in California and contracted-out centers have failed in other states.
“When it comes to providing top quality, efficient, and effective eligibility services, you don’t have to look far,” said Roseann. “We’re right here. And we’re ready.”
Members coordinated the Sacramento action with the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) and the Western Poverty Law Center.
Take action: Join the Eligibility Workers Industry Council
The next meeting is Monday, July 16, 5:45 – 7 p.m.
Santa Clara County: Robert Li, (408) 678-3342
Monterey/San Benito counties: Jay Donato or Bryce Stoepfel, (831) 784-2560
Santa Cruz County: Olivia Martinez, (831) 824-9255
Fresno/Madera counties: Diana Vasquez, (559) 447-2560
Tulare County: Miguel Espinoza, (559) 635-3728
Kern County: Bernita Jenkins, (661) 321-4174