SEIU Eligibility Workers teamed up to visit key officials in Sacramento last year to lobby aggressively for additional funding for counties to accommodate dramatic caseload increases due to the expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility.
Gov. Brown’s 2016-17 budget includes an additional $169.9 million ($57 million in general fund) for counties to hire additional county eligibility workers for Medi-Cal enrollment. This funding will account for an additional 1,800 county Eligibility Workers statewide and will be provided for two consecutive years pending any drastic caseload increases.
Said Tia Orr, SEIU State Government Advocate: “This is great for us and one that is reflective of the great work by all the ’21 Locals’ specifically your Eligibility Workers leaders and local staff who traveled to Sacramento numerous times to help convince the Department of Finance and the DHCS that additional resources were needed on the ground to deal with a failing IT system and huge demand.”
SEIU 521 member Roseann Berthron-Arechega, of Santa Clara County, was among the 521 contingency who helped state officials understand the critical role eligibility workers have in ensuring success of the government’s Medi-Cal program.
“Medi-Cal caseloads for county Eligibility Workers have increased at astonishing rates as more Americans can qualify for quality, affordable healthcare. We did a good job fighting for additional funds and I’m very proud to be part of such a movement. This is the power of union workers when we come together and win for our communities!”
We will, of course, have to work to be sure the funding proposed remains in the budget, but we are off to a very good 2016.
If you’re an Eligibility Worker, join our next industry council meeting on Monday, Feb. 1 at 5:45 p.m. Meeting is held by video conference from every office.
Next meeting: Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. by video-conference at all SEIU 521 offices.
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We win when we come together and Sacramento sees a sea of SEIU purple shirts!