What we're reading: California will open Medi-Cal to all low-income children regardless of immigration status; Arizona governor signs bill to follow earlier FDA guidelines for abortion-inducing drug; and the loss of 2 Obamacare provisions could result in increased premiums in 2017.
In California, all low-income children will be eligible for Medi-Cal in the next few months. This change means extending eligibility to children living in the country illegally, which could be as much as 250,000 children, reported Kaiser Health News. Coverage for all children regardless of immigration status is expected to begin May 16. Currently, children and adults in the country illegally qualify for limited Medi-Cal coverage, and California estimates there are about 115,000 illegal immigrant children with this restricted coverage.
The FDA may have updated guidelines for the use of an abortion-inducing drug, but Arizona won’t be following them. The new guidelines relax the use of the drug, but Arizona’s governor signed a bill that would require abortion clinics to follow the earlier, more restrictive guidelines, according to The New York Times. The bill specific that Arizona doctors must follow the guidelines as they existed on December 31, 2015. The bill had passed the legislature before the FDA issues the new guidelines, and the governor signed the bill despite the new federal recommendations.
With 2 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s premium-stabilizing programs expiring this year, premiums could increase in 2017. According to Fortune, the ACA included provisions meant to counteract uncertainty in the marketplace by acting as shock absorbers as participating health plans estimated premiums levels when trying to know how sick and costly new enrollees would be. The end of 2 of those provisions will likely result in an increase in premiums as insurers face the potential for financial instability.