California Kids Keep Health Insurance, More Could Get Coverage

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In California SCHIP is called Healthy Families. It’s for low-income children whose families can’t afford private insurance but don’t qualify for Medicaid.

Lesley Cummings is with the state board that oversees Healthy Families. She says the renewal of SCHIP could also expand coverage.

“We absolutely expect to enroll more kids. We are the biggest SCHIP program in the country.” 
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that California could get more than $30 billion in additional federal funding to expand the program. But, Cummings says that means the state has to pay more. She says that could be a challenge right now.

“This is a time of incredible, incredible, mind boggling fiscal challenges for the state.” 
And those challenges are hitting Californians too…Cummings says Healthy Families has seen record demand because of the slumping economy.