MEDICAL RISK INSURANCE: Program Could Receive $10M Budget Boost
Gov. Gray Davis (D) might decide as early as today whether to approve a $10 million budget increase for the state's Major Risk Medical Insurance Program, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. MRMI covers a portion of the cost of health insurance for people who lack group coverage and unable to obtain regular individual coverage due to costly medical conditions, such as arthritis, chronic headaches, heart disease, cancer, stroke and AIDS. Under the proposed budget, the state would allocate $10 million of tobacco tax revenue for the program, bringing MRMI's annual budget to $50 million. The funding increase also would enable the program to enroll at least half of the 4,600 people on its waiting list. Policy analysts at UCLA and UC-Berkeley estimate that between 160,000 and 300,000 state residents are eligible for the program. Without the additional funds, the program will cover about 17,000 people next year (Duerksen, 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.