The California State Budget for 2017-18 which was approved by the Legislature on June 15th invests in the long-term health and well-being of all residents despite severe uncertainty at the federal level. Specific investments include:

  • Adult Medi-Cal benefits:
    • Beginning January 1, 2018, Medi-Cal benefits will include partial dentures, gum treatment and rear root canals, costing $34.8 million from the General Fund in 2017-18 and $73 million in 2018-19.
    • Beginning January 1, 2010, optical benefits will be restored costing $12.5 million from the General Fund in 2019-20 and $26.3 million ongoing.
  • The Newly Qualified Immigrant (NQI) Affordability and Benefit Program is eliminated, allowing immigrants to remain in full-scope Medi-Cal rather than transferring to Covered California.
  • Proposition 56 funds will be used for supplemental provider rate increases for Medi-Cal ($546 million in 2017-18 and up to $800 million in 2018-19).
  • The Coordinated Care Initiative will be reauthorized and continued.
  • The Child Health and Disability Program (CHDP) will not be eliminated.
  • The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) will be expanded to raise the income threshold and include those who are self-employed,
  • Funds for children’s mental health crisis services, which had been proposed for elimination in the January budget will be restored.

While the budget has much to applaud, unfortunately, funding to extend full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented young adults between the ages of 19-26 was not included in this bill.

For a more detailed breakdown of the health related priorities see the summaries from our partners at CPEHN and Health Access. As we await the outcomes of the federal budget, the proposed health care bills, and other federal legislation, the state of California has committed to the health and well-being of our residents.