Recommendations to Promote Horizontal Integration in California

by Stephanie Campos & Jeff Selbin, East Bay Community Law Center, & Sarah Crow, Next Generation | Strong Families & Early Learning

Based on The Obamacare Opportunity: Implementing the Affordable Care Act to Improve Health, Reduce Hardship, and Grow the Economy for All Californians and subsequent research, Next Generation and East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) developed a set of concrete recommendations for the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

The recommendations highlight ways the State Legislature can leverage the state’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California, to link health insurance applicants with other benefits for which they may be eligible. Given the Affordable Care Act’s emphasis on “horizontal integration” and streamlined applications, it is fitting for California to push ahead on reforms that will make it easier for families to take advantage of necessary supports.

The report recommends increased data sharing between several programs, modernization of program rules, as well as additional research and study. Specific proposals include:

  • Accept telephonic signatures from CalFresh applicants, reducing the need for an in-person visit to a county office or sending documents via snail mail;
  • Streamline enrollment into WIC and subsidized child care by authorizing data sharing agreements between the agencies that administer these programs, improving access for beneficiaries;
  • Capitalize on the existing data link between the Employment Development Department and Covered California to increase awareness and take up of EDD programs, like Paid Family Leave.