Proposed Funding Cuts Could Limit Services for Medi-Cal Beneficiaries
California health officials are bracing for a decline in Medi-Cal funding as part of a proposal by CMS to cut $4 billion nationwide in funding of state programs that serve at-risk Medicaid enrollees, the Sacramento Bee reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Medi-Cal beneficiaries affected by the proposal under the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act would include:
- Pregnant women and infants;
- The elderly who need assistance;
- People with mental disabilities;
- Foster children; and
- Adult probationers who receive substance abuse treatment.
The proposed cut to states' Targeted Case Management programs is part of a larger effort by CMS to save an estimated $11 billion by implementing six rule changes that have been proposed in the past year.
Stan Rosenstein, director of Medi-Cal, said the state has not calculated how much funding it would lose under the new cuts. He added that Congress has authorized the proposal.
Earlier this month, CMS' top official told a congressional committee that the funding cuts are "in the final stages of review."
Supporters of the cuts contend that states will be able to cover more people at a lower cost and allow greater continuity of coverage.
However, a representative for the California State Association of Counties argued that the move is part of a larger effort to cut funding for Medicaid programs nationwide (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 11/25). 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.