At its meeting on June 29, 2009, the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board made a finding that sufficient funds were not available to fully cover the estimated costs of the Healthy Families Program (HFP) expenditures for the 2009-10 fiscal year. The Board further determined that it was necessary to limit enrollment in the program to ensure that expenditures do not exceed funding available for the program. A waiting list for new HFP applicants was implemented on July 17, 2009.
Based on the California State Budget signed into law on July 28, 2009, the HFP shortfall is $194 million in state General Funds (GF) and $582 million in total funds for the 2009-10 fiscal year. The California Children and Families Commission (First Five Commission) has made a commitment to provide up to $81.4 million to support the HFP in fiscal year 2009-10. However, at this time, even with the commitment from the state First Five Commission, there remains a shortfall of $112.6 million in state funding ($337.8 million total funds) for the fiscal year.
Therefore, at its August 13, 2009 meeting, the Board made a second finding of insufficient funds. While the Board, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), the Legislature and other interested parties are all working very hard to obtain additional funding for the HFP, the Board found that, in addition to limiting new enrollment, it is necessary to disenroll children to ensure that expenditures do not exceed the funding available for the program.
Absent additional funding, disenrollment from the HFP would begin with children who have September anniversary dates in the program. The effective date for disenrollment of these children would be October 1, 2009. Children who are disenrolled from the HFP would be placed on the waiting list ahead of new applicants so that those who are still eligible could enroll first if sufficient funding became available to allow new enrollment into the program. Families whose children are going to be disenrolled would receive at least 30 days written notice. Certain children in the California Children's Services (CCS) program (those who are eligible for CCS only because they are enrolled in the HFP) would not be disenrolled.
The Board also directed staff to continue analyzing several cost-cutting ideas and working with the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), the Legislature, the state First Five Commission, local First Five Commissions, foundations and other interested parties to obtain additional funding to supplement the GF appropriation for the HFP. If sufficient additional funding is obtained, the Board's Executive Director has the authority to make a finding of sufficient funding and to suspend the disenrollment process.
The Board has scheduled two additional meetings in August, on August 20 and August 27, to continue their review of cost-cutting proposals and to receive updates on the funding situation for the program.
Please check this website for updates on disenrollment and program funding. For additional information, please contact:
Deputy Director, Health Policy, Legislation and External Affairs
Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board