As potential Medi-Cal cuts loom, one cut from prior years may get restored. As reported by Timm Herdt at the Ventura County Star (in an article worth reading), approximately $11.23 billion in increased federal Medicaid matching funds from the economic stimulus plan is pending…
The only requirement is that California keep its Medi-Cal eligibility and enrollment rules the same. After all, the point of the money is to allow states to prevent health cuts, keep health care jobs, and to be able to meet increased needs in an economic downturn.
One problem: in last year’s late budget, California imposed semi-annual reporting requirement on children, for the purpose of getting savings as those families don’t fill out the paperwork and end up falling off coverage. We projected that over 250,000 children would lose coverage over three years as a result of the cynical, burdensome paperwork.
This new enrollment barrier would make us not eligible for the $11 billion. Now there’s a debate over whether to eliminate this requirement–which was bad policy to begin with–or to “suspend” it, although the latter option may not be enough to get the federal economic stimulus dollars, or other sources of funding.
Whatever happens, it needs to happen quick, or the state could lose the big bucks from the federal government.