California will begin moving 860,000 lower-income children from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal next month after receiving last-minute federal approval today, state health officials said.
The shift comes despite a request from Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to postpone the switch because he fears too many children will lose access to their medical providers.
Many health care advocates fought the shift in June and felt that Healthy Families had served its beneficiaries better than Medi-Cal could. But Gov. Jerry Brown asked lawmakers to end Healthy Families as the state prepares for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in 2014, saying it would be more efficient and ultimately save money.