Yesterday, the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) voted to freeze enrollment, effective July 17, 2009, in the Healthy Families Program in order to address a projected $90 million General Fund shortfall in 2009-10. MRMIB estimates that more than 320,000 children will be prevented from enrolling in Healthy Families through June 2010 due to this action.
However, freezing enrollment is not sufficient to achieve $90 million in savings. So MRMIB may also need to drop children from Healthy Families at the time of their annual eligibility review. Children could be removed from the program as soon as February 2010, which would cause nearly 290,000 children to lose their Healthy Families coverage through June 2010.
To sum up: More than 600,000 California children could either lose their Healthy Families coverage or be prevented from enrolling in the program during 2009-10 unless MRMIB finds $90 million to keep the Healthy Families Program whole.
– Scott Graves and Raul Macias