UPDATE, June 22, 2013:
Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, at left, of the Children's Defense Fund-California reports the good news: the Legislature did approve the "gap funding" for foster youth who would have been ineligible for Medi-Cal coverage between July 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014 (affected 4,500 former foster children who fell in an administrative coverage gap under the new rulings that extend medical coverage to age 26; see full story below the jump.)
UPDATE, June 18, 2013: David Gorn, editor of California Healthlines, reported yesterday in his blog's "Capitol Desk," that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism (see story below) was not approved (on June 14) by the Legislature for Medi-Cal coverage.
June 6, 2013: The Children's Defense Fund-California alerts us to two pending budget issues regarding children's health: Medi-Cal coverage for former foster youth, and behavior health services for children with autism.
As CDFC policy and communications associate Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, at left, writes:
Last year, budget decisions transferred nearly 1 million children from Healthy Families into Medi-Cal (beginning in January 2013). However, Healthy Families provided Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children with autism -- and Medi-Cal does not. Instead, Medi-Cal pays for behavioral services through regional centers -- for which not all children qualify [Kristin Jacobson, co-founder of Autism Deserves Equal Coverage, estimates that three-fourths of Medi-Cal children with autism will not be elibigle for behavioral services at regional centers]. All Medi-Cal children should have access to needed ABA services. Our request to the legislature is to augment the Medi-Cal budget by $50 million from the general fund, and adopt a placeholder trailer bill to add ABA services to Medi9-Cal managed care for children ineligible for regional center services.
"Any change to our plans requires contractual changes, as well as building in the rates," Douglas said. "And we need to get approval from our federal partners, including amendments to our 1115 waiver to add this benefit, which will take several months." Douglas said July 1 was not "a realistic implementation date."
In a Senate subcommittee meeting in late May, Toby Douglas, director of the state Dept. of Health Care Services (that orchestrated the Healthy Families transition) voiced concerns about the timing of this proposal.