Enrollment Freeze for Healthy Families Set To Begin on July 17
On Monday, the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board voted to freeze enrollment for Healthy Families beginning July 17, the Ventura County Star reports.
MRMIB administers Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program.
About 920,000 children currently are enrolled in Healthy Families, which accepts an average of 29,000 new enrollees each month.
Ginny Puddefoot, MRMIB's deputy director of health policy, said children already covered under Healthy Families will continue to receive services after the freeze takes effect.Â She added that MRMIB will establish a waitlist for the program when the freeze begins.
Advocates on the Lookout for New Funds
Although the board initially planned to implement the freeze on July 1, many children's health advocates urged the board to postpone the effective date.
Leona Butler, CEO of Santa Clara Family Health, requested that the board delay the freeze until after the July 15 meeting of the First 5 California Commission, which administers funds for early childhood health and education services in the state (Sherwood, Ventura County Star, 6/29).
Advocates have expressed hope that First 5 could provide the gap funding necessary to prevent Healthy Families from halting enrollment.Â First 5 provided $17 million to Healthy Families in December 2008 to avoid cuts (Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times, 6/30) (News low in story).Puddefoot said the Healthy Families' executive director could cancel the enrollment freeze if the program secures sufficient funding (Ventura County Star, 6/29). 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.