San Diego County Supervisors Approve New Income Limits for County Medical Services
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a new eligibility limit for uninsured, low-income county residents to qualify for the County Medical Services program, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Wolf Branscomb, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/7).
A Superior Court Judge last month ruled that San Diego County's income limits for last-resort medical care at no cost under the County Medical Services program violate state law. Under the ruling, the county had to submit new standards within 60 days that "base eligibility for indigent health care on the individual's ability to pay for such care" (California Healthline, 11/21).
Supervisors approved a new income limit of $1,078 per month for a single adult. The previous limit was $802 per month. The new limit will allow an additional 1,800 residents to qualify for County Medical Services.
Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard said that the change will cost the county "a minimum of $6 million" and that other "[s]ervices will be reduced to the taxpayers as a result of this action." Ekard said his office will make recommendations as to whether the funds should be taken from other county Health and Human Services Agency programs or another area of the county budget.
Katie Murphy -- an attorney for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, which filed the lawsuit -- said the new limit is still too low. Murphy asked the supervisors to adopt the new limit as an interim policy and develop a more expansive plan in 60 days (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/7).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.