About CalOptima

Press Release

CalOptima Celebrates 25 Years in Orange County

ORANGE, Calif. (October 1, 2020)

Twenty-five years ago, when CalOptima was launched on October 1, 1995, no one could have envisioned the important role it would play in Orange County’s health system. Today, more than 20% of county residents rely on CalOptima for their health insurance. COVID-19 and the economic fallout from the pandemic have placed the health of Orange County’s vulnerable, low-income residents at greater risk. Since the pandemic began, nearly 3,100 CalOptima members have been reported as COVID-19 positive. Conditions then and now underscore the importance of having access to quality health care coverage.

This month, CalOptima recognizes our roots as a local solution to improve access to Medi-Cal services and our growth from 180,000 members to nearly 768,000 over the past 25 years. As Orange County’s public health plan, CalOptima has always worked in partnership with private health networks, connecting members with thousands of doctors across the county in a unique public-private health care system.

“Being a locally administered health plan created by the Orange County Board of Supervisors has allowed CalOptima to be flexible and act quickly in response to emerging health needs in the county,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, Chair of the CalOptima Board of Directors and Vice Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “In response to the pandemic, CalOptima has implemented many changes to make services more accessible to members, such as transitioning to remote customer service, supporting providers in launching telehealth and investing in an innovative COVID-19 infection control program for nursing homes.”

Indeed, CalOptima has a history of adapting to evolving needs. Since 2005, the agency has added three health plans that serve seniors by coordinating Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits and providing more comprehensive care. Further, CalOptima has expanded language resources to serve an increasingly diverse Orange County, growing from three to seven threshold languages.

“Change has been a constant, and together with our employees, providers and community-based organizations, CalOptima looks forward to continuing to build our legacy,” said Richard Sanchez, Interim Chief Executive Officer. “Our current strategic plan points us toward a future filled with more innovation, stronger partnerships and increased value while we uphold our member-focused mission.”

About CalOptima

A county organized health system, CalOptima provides publicly funded health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities in Orange County, California. CalOptima’s mission is to provide members with access to quality health care services delivered in a cost-effective and compassionate manner. In total, CalOptima serves nearly 768,000 members with a network of 9,000 primary care doctors and specialists as well as 41 acute and rehab hospitals.

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