As health reform and waiver discussions in California continue, efforts should focus on further improving children’s health coverage, enrollment, access, and care utilization.
As our nation's leaders make critical decisions about America's future, Medicaid's historically strong protections must remain exempt from cuts or structural changes that would undermine its ability to serve people in need. Additionally, a partial or full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and resulting federal cut to California's budget threatens the viability of the Medi-Cal program and the health of our state's children.
The Children's Health Insurance Program is a program jointly funded by states and the federal government and run by states to cover uninsured children based on income. CHIP currently provides health coverage for 8.9 million children in America and more than 2 million children and pregnant women in California over the course of a year (1.4 million at any given time). In California, children in families with incomes between 138% and 266% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL, $33,354 - $65,436 a year for a family of 4) are income eligible for CHIP. CHIP sits on the shoulders of Medicaid, which provides health coverage to children with family incomes of 138% FPL or less. In California, CHIP enrollees are part of the state's Medicaid program, which is known as Medi-Cal. Developed as a state-federal partnership that gives governors broad flexibility [...]