Unofficial Deal With CMS Would Extend Funds for County Health Programs
Last week, state health officials said they had reached an unofficial agreement with CMS on a 60-day extension to federal funding for 10 county-administered health programs, while negotiations continue for a longer term extension, the Ventura County Star reports.
Under the preliminary agreement, the federal government would provide the 10 county programs with $255 million to continue providing health coverage to low-income, uninsured residents through the end of October.
The 10 programs -- which include the Ventura County's Access Coverage Enrollment plan -- receive funding from their respective counties and through a waiver agreement with the federal government. The waiver provides Medi-Cal reimbursements for programs that aim to improve coverage and reduce spending. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The current waiver agreement is scheduled to expire on Tuesday. However, officials from the California Department of Health Care Services and CMS are continuing discussions on a new five-year plan that would extend federal funding for the county programs and provide $10 billion in federal reimbursements for safety-net programs.
Gregory Franklin, director of health care operations at DHCS, said an agreement is expected by Oct. 31. According to Franklin, the 60-day extension agreement is preliminary because federal officials have yet to issue a formal response to the request. However, he said federal officials have told the state that the extension will be granted (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 8/27).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.