Health Shift Will Affect 860,000 California Children

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers will begin hearings this week into how the state will end a health program serving more than 860,000 children without disrupting care.

The state budget enacted this year eliminates Healthy Families to save $73 million a year. Its participants will be moved to Medi-Cal, California’s version of the Medicaid program for the poor.

Healthy Families benefits low-income families who did not qualify for Medi-Cal.

A top concerns is whether health care providers will be willing to accept the new patients because they were reimbursed at a higher rate under Healthy Families. They could receive 15 percent less under Medi-Cal.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley says she believes enough health providers will be willing to care for the children at the reduced rates.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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