MEDI-CAL: Many Uninsured Children Eligible for Coverage
More than 1 million of the nation's 10 million children who have no health insurance live in California and many "are missing out on the comprehensive care they are eligible to receive," writes Ernest Velasquez, executive director of the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fresno, in the Bakersfield Californian. Velasquez maintains that at least four million of those children are eligible for Medicaid and another five million "could be eligible for the newly expanded state CHIP." Not without hope, however, he insists "our community can take key steps to remove barriers families face in attempting to enroll their children in health coverage programs." He argues that California should "take advantage" of continuous enrollment, in which states are allowed to "enroll children in Medicaid and CHIP for 12 continuous months, regardless of changes in family income and circumstances." Now, Medi-Cal families must re-enroll their children every month and report income changes. The state also should allow "temporary enrollment in Medi-Cal and CHIP based on single eligibility screening" when children enter hospitals or community care centers. Further, Velasquez insists, Medi-Cal Outstations must be expanded to reach more families. Velasquez concludes by reminding readers that this week is Children's Health Matters Awareness Week, during which community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and government entities will distribute promotional materials (9/27).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.