March 9, 2017 - In California, the federal‑state Medicaid program is administered by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) as the California Medical Assistance Program (Medi‑Cal). Medi‑Cal is by far the largest state‑administered health services program in terms of annual caseload and expenditures. In this report, we provide an analysis of the administration’s caseload projections, including a discussion of the projected increases in ACA optional expansion caseload. We also provide an assessment of several aforementioned major factors affecting projected changes in Medi‑Cal spending in 2017‑18 and other policy changes proposed by the administration. These include the Governor’s proposed uses of Proposition 56 revenues, the proposal to shift additional New Qualified Immigrants (NQIs) to Covered California in 2017‑18, assumptions around federal CHIP funding, and the proposed abolition and transfer of the Major Risk Medical Insurance Fund (MRMIF).
May 17, 2017 - In this Budget and Policy Post, we provide an overview of several of the key factors driving the changes in estimated and proposed Medi-Cal spending in 2016-17 and 2017-18; our evaluation of the Governor’s updated caseload estimates; and an update on several key proposals from the January budget, some of which have been modified at May Revision. During continuing budget deliberations, we recommend that the Legislature ask for clarity from the Department of Health Care Services on how the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program will be funded in the future under the Governor’s proposal if Health Care Services Plans and Penalties Fund revenues are insufficient to cover the costs of the program. We also recommend that the Legislature, should it approve the Governor’s plan to cancel the planned transition of Newly Qualified Immigrants from Medi-Cal to Covered California, consider trailer bill language that repeals existing state statutory language that calls for the transition. Finally, we recommended a downward technical adjustment of $62 million General Fund to the 2017-18 May Medi-Cal Estimate.
February 16, 2018 - In this report we provide a broad overview of the Governor's health and human services budget, highlighting major year-over-year changes. We then provide a more in-depth analysis of select programmatic areas.
February 12, 2015 - This report analyzes the Governor's 2015-16 state health program budget proposals. In the report, we review trends in the major health programs since 2007-08 (the last budget developed before the most recent recession), analyze the Governor's proposed restructuring of the managed care organization (MCO) tax, and describe the uncertainty regarding continued federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The report also includes an analysis of the Department of State Hospitals budget and an analysis of the Governor's proposals to improve quality and increase staffing for the Licensing and Certification (L&C) Program administered by the Department of Public Health.
November 15, 2017 - This online post discusses the major factors that we project will impact General Fund spending in Medi-Cal from 2017-18 to 2021-22.
February 27, 2013 - The Governor's budget proposes $28.3 billion in expenditures from the General Fund for health and human services programs in 2013-14. This reflects a 3.4 percent increase for health programs and a 7.9 percent increase for human services programs over 2012-13 estimated expenditures. For the most part, the year-over-year budget changes reflect caseload changes, technical budget adjustments, and the implementation of previously enacted policy changes, as opposed to new policy proposals. In the report, we find that the budget does not reflect the fiscal impact of the proposed Medi-Cal expansion, nor does it reflect potential costs and savings related to various other provisions of federal health care reform. We find that the Governor's Medi-Cal budget proposal assumes General Fund savings that are subject to significant uncertainty. We also provide a status update on the transition of the Healthy Families Program enrollees to Medi-Cal, finding that the transition is generally proceeding as planned, with some delays. We discuss problems in the operation of the state's Developmental Centers (DCs) by the Department of Developmental Services, and recommend that oversight of the DCs be strengthened by the creation of an independent Office of the Inspector General. We discuss the recent major program changes to the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) that are reflected in the budget, and recommend that the Legislature augment CalWORKs employment services funding--a Governor's budget proposal--to a level of funding it deems appropriate in light of its priorities for the program. We raise various fiscal and policy concerns about the Governor's budget assumption that a 20 percent across-the-board reduction in In-Home Supportive Services service hours will be implemented beginning on November 1, 2013. In light of these concerns, we recommend that the Legislature repeal the 20 percent reduction and instead continue a 3.6 percent across-the-board reduction that would otherwise sunset at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year.
November 4, 2013 - The LAO’s annual California Spending Plan publication details the 2013-14 budget package, including legislative and gubernatorial actions through October 2013. (Our office released a preliminary electronic version of the report on July 30, 2013 that summarized legislative and gubernatorial actions through that date.) Major features of the 2013-14 budget plan include $2.1 billion for a new formula to distribute funding amongst schools, a state-based plan to expand Medi-Cal to cover more than one million additional low-income adults, and selected program augmentations.
February 11, 2016 - In this report, we provide an analysis of the administration’s caseload projections, as well as a discussion of the impacts of the ACA on the ability to project caseload. We also provide an assessment of several General Fund cost pressures on the horizon in Medi–Cal, including the sunset of the hospital QAF.
February 20, 2014 - The report analyzes the Governor's 2014-15 health budget proposals. In it, we (1) provide an analysis of the impact the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)--known as federal health care reform--is having on the Medi-Cal program; (2) analyze the Governor's budget proposal to exempt certain, but not all, classes of Medi-Cal providers and services from retroactive recoupments of payment reductions; and (3) assess the fiscal outlook for the California Health Benefit Exchange, also known as Covered California.
May 14, 2018 - In this post, we describe and provide our initial comments on adjustments to the Medi-Cal budget in the 2018-19 May Revision.
October 2, 2018 - Each year, our office publishes the California Spending Plan to summarize the annual state budget. This publication discusses the 2018‑19 Budget Act and other major budget actions approved in 2018. This version reflects all budgetary legislation related to the 2018-19 Budget Act.