Broad budget cuts approved last month in California’s state legislature will impact many programs across the state — probably none so much as the health and human services arena, which saw significant drops in funding for Medi-Cal and services for the disabled. These cuts came as part of an $11 billion deficit reduction, making up for nearly half of the ground lost by the state’s total $26.6 billion budget shortfall.
In light of these changes, consumers will have questions about how their insurance coverage will change, what services will no longer be available to them, and how they can get the coverage they need at a price they can afford. Read on to learn just what changes will be enacted over the next few months.
The new Medi-Cal
As larger federal Medicare cuts loom, California predictably slashed its state program, saving $1.3 billion over the next year. Both consumers and physicians will share an increased burden to make up for the lost money: long-term care facilities and physician offices will be reimbursed 10 percent less than they currently are, while co-pays will rise for hospital visits, physician and clinic visits and services provided through the Healthy Families program.