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Public Charge Rule Could Prompt Up to 455,000 California Kids Who Need Care to Leave Medi-Cal. Leah Zallman, Karen Finnegan. California Health Care Foundation. November 2018


New research from the Institute for Community Health estimates that the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the public charge rule could prompt 195,000 to 455,000 California children in need of medical attention to leave Medi-Cal. This estimate includes up to 93,000 low- and moderate-income children with at least one potentially life-threatening condition, such as cancer or epilepsy, and up to 56,000 newborns. Once disenrolled, they are likely to become uninsured, increasing their risk of going without care or experiencing delays in obtaining services they need.

These estimates mirror national findings published on October 23, 2018, by the California Health Care Foundation. Nationwide, 700,000 to 1.7 million children in need of medical attention are likely to leave their state Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) if the proposed rule is adopted. (The California Medicaid program is known as Medi-Cal, and CHIP-eligible children are enrolled in Medi-Cal rather than a separate CHIP program.)