For some, Medicaid switch won't happen until summer

Some of the state's lowest income earners will have their health care switched to the federal Medicaid program March 1, but the switch for most who qualify may not be completed until summer.

The state's new Human Services Commissioner, Lucinda Jesson, said Minnesotans on GAMC will be automatically enrolled right away. But, for the 51,000 people on Minnesota Care, she said a full switch will take some time.

"Manually, it'll take about six months in the computer systems to shift them over from Minnesota Care, but, we want this to be as seamless as possible for those enrollees," Jesson said. "So they should be getting the care. They will get the expanded coverage. There's a lot better coverage overall under medical assistance than under Minnesota Care."

Jesson said her department will work with hospitals to make sure Minnesota Care patients get Medicaid level benefits beginning March 1.

Earlier this week, Gov. Dayton announced the Medicaid expansion he authorized would occur a lot more quickly than the Pawlenty administration had said.

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