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Millions could lose health coverage, if federal programs end

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Flickr / Creative Commons

Two major affordable care programs are set to expire as the federal government's COVID-19 public health emergency expires in April. As many as three million Californians could lose their Medi-Cal coverage if they don’t find a replacement – by this summer.

An additional 150 thousand Californians might find the cost of their state plans out of reach in early 2023- unless federal subsidies are renewed later this year.

In California, close to 14-and-a-half million people are enrolled on Medi-Cal -- the highest number enrolled since the program started in 1966.

A record number of Californians -- almost two million -- bought state health plans during the pandemic? The last signup period was from November of last year to January 31st of this year.

But those federal protections are temporary. And state health officials are now preparing for when they expire, examining how to keep the most Californians covered.

Before the pandemic, people on Medi-Cal had to renew their coverage every year, but the process has been frozen for the past two years.