Kids' Health Care Threatened in State Budget Agreement
Unfortunately, the final budget did include the Administration's proposal to eliminate the Healthy Families Program and move the nearly 900,000 children in that program into Medi-Cal. While this move is estimated to save the state $13 million this year, it also jeopardizes almost $200 million in revenue from an industry-supported assessment on managed care health plans. So it is likely to result in a net cost to the state.
Children covered by Healthy Families will continue to have health coverage, but they will eventually be transitioned into Medi-Cal. At our urging, kids will be allowed to stay with their current doctor even if that doctor is not a Medi-Cal provider, and the Department of Health Care Services must provide ongoing reports to the Legislature regarding provider network readiness and adequacy standards before any child changes programs.
The details of the transition plan are critical and will be presented to the Legislature in October 2012, and we will scrutinize the plan closely to ensure that children transitioning into Medi-Cal from Healthy Families and children already in Medi-Cal have sufficient access to health care.
Children in the Healthy Families Program will still have health coverage, but they will eventually be transitioned into the Medi-Cal program. Both Healthy Families and Medi-Cal are actively enrolling kids, so if you know uninsured children, please get them signed up by calling 877-KIDS-NOW or pointing your browser to www.healtheapp.net.