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Computer Glitch Dumps Pregnant Women From Covered California Plans

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Pregnant women are surprised to hear they've been dropped from Covered California plans as the result of a computer glitch.

CBS13 is hearing stories of pregnant women heading to their doctor for a checkup only to be told they're not covered anymore.

Inez Whitlow uses a ranch in Elk Grove as her office for an organization she started in 1998 helping pregnant women and teens in crisis. She says a recent problem with Covered California is making it difficult for her clients when it comes to their medical care.

"I just got off the phone call with one of my girls and she said, 'Hey they won't see me at the doctor anymore,'" she said.

The problem is a computer glitch that transfers consumers from Covered California to Medi-Cal when they report their pregnancy. They are supposed to have the option to stay.

"Here, all we're trying to do is get her into a doctor's appointment, and we can't even do that because now they switched her up again," she said.

Whitlow says it's happened to a number of her clients in the past few months.

"What then we find is these girls decide not to go to a doctor," she said. "So now we have them not going to prenatal care."

The issue showed up after a change in policy with Medi-Cal eligibility last fall. Covered California admits there is a problem pointing to computer issues.

It goes on to say: "Covered California plans to have by this fall an on-screen notice to consumers that they can choose to remain in their Covered California plan or transition into Medi-Cal when reporting a pregnancy."

Covered California says consumers who have been moved to Medi-Cal should feel confident they have coverage, but Whitlow she's hearing from her most recent client that confidence isn't there yet.

"I like my doctor, I don't want to move, I don't want to start the process over again," she said.

Covered California says consumers who want to go back to Covered California can call the service center to get their original coverage reinstated. That computer problem is not expected to be fixed until September.

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