The state’s budget crisis has meant devastating cuts to services for children, forcing moms (and dads!) to make tough choices as they try to stretch family budgets to make ends meet.
About to take effect are cuts to children’s health insurance include a $38.5 million reduction to Healthy Families, the State Children’s Health Insurance (SCHIP) in California that covers nearly one million children of low income families:
• Increase monthly premiums for families between 200 and 250 percent FPL by $18 per child, an increase of 75%,(with a family maximum of $126); and for families between 150-200% FPL by $14/child by nearly 100%. These changes, on families of 150% of poverty level, or $27,500 for a family of three, would yield a savings of $22 million.
• Raise emergency room co-payments from $15 to $50 and raising hospital inpatient services co-payments of $100 per day with a $200 maximum (for a savings of $5.5 million).
• The budget also makes $3 million cut in vision services.
Past increases in cost sharing have forced parents to make the difficult decision to drop coverage for their children. According to the 100% Campaign, 50,000 kids became uninsured in part due to increased premiums.
In addition, cuts to human services in programs such as CalWORKs and child care are putting even more strain on low-income parents. Further cuts are still being proposed to solve the state’s still unresolved budget deficit.
For more on budget advocacy, please visit http://www.hhsnetworkca.org/