California Medicaid Changes Will Affect Children's Coverage

Armen Hareyan's picture
Advertisement

A plan byCalifornia Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) that would require most Medi-Cal beneficiaries to complete eligibility forms four timesper year, rather than annually, will affect children the most and will not savethe state money in the long run, according to a report commissioned by the California Endowment, the SacramentoBee reports.Medi-Cal is the state's Medicaid program. Administration officials estimatethat the requirement will result in 122,000 people being dropped from Medi-Calin the next fiscal year, which would save the state $95 million.

According to the report, previous studies have found that up to two-thirds ofbeneficiaries who were dropped from the program for reasons related to missingor incomplete eligibility forms re-enrolled in the program within eight months.The report found this cost the state $120 to $160 to re-enroll each child.

Advertisement

Gerry Fairbrother, author of the report and a researcher at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, said, "The data clearly showthat a more frequent requirement would result in more children losing theirhealth coverage, which causes lapses in health care that result in highermedical service costs once the child is re-enrolled."

Stan Rosenstein, director of Medi-Cal, said that the report overstates thecosts of re-enrolling beneficiaries and that disenrollment "only occurs ifsomebody has to reapply and they haven't responded to two notices we sentthem" (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 4/17).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

Share this content.

If you liked this article and think it may help your friends, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.
Advertisement