Healthy Families Dropout Rate Growing
Children are dropping out of Healthy Families, California's CHIP program, "almost as fast" as they enroll, in spite of "intense efforts" to cover all eligible children, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Over the past three months, Healthy Families' dropout rate statewide has risen to 60% of its enrollment rate. Program administrators and school nurses say that the cost of premiums -- $5 to $9 monthly -- influences "many" families to give up coverage. Of those who dropped out of the program, 33% did so by not paying premiums; an additional 30% failed to send in "required eligibility information" during the annual review process. Teresa Smanio, legislative coordinator for the Department of Health Services, said, "[The dropout rate] is definitely a concern. It's going to the top of our list of things we need to look at." She added that it is "unlikely" that premiums will be terminated, as "the administration [of Gov. Gray Davis (D)] has strong feelings about families contributing something" to children's health insurance (Duerksen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/4).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.