California: Governor Approves Medicaid Coverage for Undocumented Children

Governor Jerry Brown (D) approved the State budget for fiscal year 2015-2016, which will expand Medi-Cal coverage to 170,000 undocumented children under 19 years old starting May 2016. The approved budget includes approximately $40 million in new funding to support the initial expansion, which will cost the State an estimated $132 million per year once fully implemented. While the original budget bill would have expanded Medi-Cal coverage to all undocumented immigrants, including adults, the Senate narrowed the proposal to children to reduce the cost. A similar proposal to extend Medi-Cal benefits to all undocumented immigrants was rejected by the Legislature last year.

Florida: CMS Approves State's Uncompensated Care Funding Pool Proposal

In a letter to the State, CMS announced it has reached an agreement “in principle” with Florida on the size, duration, and methodology for distribution of the State’s Low Income Pool (LIP) funding. CMS authorized $1 billion in combined state and federal funding for the 2015 fiscal year and $608 million for 2016, the latter of which was “based on the volume of provider uncompensated care.” In its letter, CMS reiterated its principles for continuing this funding at a reduced rate, including “uncompensated care pool funding should not pay for costs that would be covered in a Medicaid expansion.” CMS can officially approve the LIP proposal after the federal comment period ends on June 27.