Urban Institute Examines Recent Health Policies for Low-Income California Residents
The Urban Institute has released a report describing the status of health care financing in California. The report, which focuses on Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, is part of a series produced for the institute's Assessing the New Federalism project (Assessing the New Federalism release, 4/11). According to the report, over the past several years, income eligibility limits under Medi-Cal have increased from 74% to 100% of the federal poverty level for adults; 84% to 133% for people with disabilities; and up to 250% of the poverty level for working individuals with disabilities. Healthy Families has expanded coverage to children ages one to 19 with annual household incomes between 100% and 250% of poverty and has received federal approval to cover parents with incomes between 100% and 200% of poverty. The report cites several efforts by the state to simplify enrollment for Healthy Families and Medi-Cal, including Health-e-App, an automated, Web-based application. The state increased payments to Medi-Cal providers by $800 million in fiscal year 2001. The report says that future increases in Medi-Cal enrollment are likely to create "difficult policy tradeoffs" for the state (Lutzky/Zuckerman, "Recent Changes in Health Policy for Low-Income People in California," March 2002). The full report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.