Medi-Cal Lengthens Transition Time to Full Implementation – Go-Live on April 1, 2021

November 16, 2020

Given the ongoing challenges and constantly evolving health care landscape associated with the unprecedented COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in partnership and collaboration with Magellan Medicaid Administration, Inc. (Magellan), has decided to lengthen the time for the full implementation of the transition to Medi-Cal Rx by three (3) months. DHCS and Magellan will continue to dedicate their combined efforts and rigorous preparations towards Assumption of Operations (AOO) for Medi-Cal Rx on April 1, 2021. In the interim, all current processes and protocols, both effectuated by DHCS and our Medi-Cal managed care plans (MCPs), respectively, will remain unchanged and in place until Medi-Cal Rx launches.

While neither DHCS nor Magellan takes this decision lightly, we are confident that given the COVID-19 PHE, this decision is in the best interests of our Medi-Cal beneficiaries and providers. Lengthening the time for full implementation will help to ensure a more complete transition, as well as mitigate impacts to beneficiaries in accessing their medication. Moving the launch of Medi-Cal Rx to April 1, 2021, will provide additional and valuable opportunities for Medi-Cal providers, beneficiaries, MCPs, and other interested parties to become better acclimated to, and familiar with new Medi-Cal Rx policies and processes, through additional messaging from DHCS and Magellan, additional targeted stakeholder engagement and outreach efforts and additional provider trainings.

Please note that DHCS will be working to update applicable provider guidance and associated Medi-Cal Rx provider bulletins/Newsflash articles in the coming weeks to reflect the April 1, 2021 go-live date. With the exception of the three-month shift in the go-live date, all other aspects of the transition communicated to our providers via bulletins through the Medi-Cal and Medi-Cal Rx websites remain unchanged.

DHCS appreciates your continued support and collaboration relative to this important project, and looks forward to the successful launch and AOO of Medi-Cal Rx on April 1, 2021. If you have any questions about this notification, please feel free to direct them to the Medi-Cal Rx Project Team at RxCarveOut@dhcs.ca.gov. Thank you.