California Proposes Covering Parents Under Healthy Families
California officials yesterday submitted a proposal to HCFA that would expand Healthy Families to include some parents of children already enrolled in the program, the Contra Costa Times reports. The expanded coverage, expected to cost $192 million in FY 2001-2002, would serve parents with income "up to twice" the poverty level. An estimated 290,000 adults could be eligible for the program. The state would pay $71 million of the program's expected $192 million cost, and the federal government would provide the remaining money (Contra Costa Times, 12/22). Money from California's tobacco settlement will pay for the expansion. Parents enrolled in the program would pay a monthly premium that would not exceed $25 per parent per month (Bustillo/Marquis, Los Angeles Times, 12/22). Officials hope the plan will be approved by the end of February and implemented by July (Contra Costa Times, 12/22).
Lower-than-expected enrollment in Healthy Families nearly forced the state to return $590 million in unused federal CHIP money (Los Angeles Times, 12/22). Last week, however, Congress approved a bill allowing California to retain about $350 million for the program (Contra Costa Times, 12/22). Officials hope that expanding coverage will allow them to "reach more children" and "use all the [federal] money in the future" (Bustillo/Marquis, Los Angeles Times, 12/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.