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Healthy Families Program Update

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The Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, the state agency that oversees the Healthy Families Program, has found that funding for the Healthy Families Program is now sufficient to avoid disenrolling children currently enrolled in the program and to open the program to new enrollment beginning September 17, 2009.

The administrative vendor for the Healthy Families Program (HFP), Maximus, has already begun processing applications from the waiting list. Maximus estimates it will take about 30 days to process all the applications for waitlisted children and to notify families as to whether their children are eligible and have been enrolled in the program. Applications will be processed based on the date of application, with the oldest applications processed first. Actual health care coverage begins 10 days after enrollment in the program.

The Board’s finding was made possible by three key actions: the passage of AB 1422 (Bass), which provides revenues for the program from a gross premium tax paid by Medi-Cal managed care plans; the generous commitment from the state First Five Commission to provide funding for children ages 0 to 5 in the program; and program changes to cut HFP expenditures, including increases in subscriber premiums and co-payments for health care services. These program changes will go into effect on November 1, 2009.

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