The Governor released his proposed FY19-20 budget late last week. It’s over 500 pages long - but we went through and looked for important items that relate to public health and or social determinants. Here’s a quick summary.
Kids Care Funding
Happily, the Governor’s budget includes the needed funding to continue our Kids Care program after the federal contribution goes below 100% on October 1, 2019. KidsCare provides insurance for more than 30,000 children in families with incomes above the limit for Medicaid eligibility but below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Families with children who are insured through KidsCare pay premiums that vary with family size and income from $10 to $70 per month. Of course- this still needs to work its way through the legislature but it sure is encouraging to see it in the Governor’s budget.
Telemedicine Services for Prenatal Services
The Governor’s proposed budget includes $500K in one-time funding for telemedicine and sonogram equipment to help rural hospitals that lack adequate access to prenatal providers to provide care to expectant mothers. The initiative will allow rural hospitals to buy telemedicine and sonogram equipment and enhance their ability to reach out to urban partners for assistance when providing prenatal care to expectant mothers, reducing the need to travel. An additional $500K is proposed in one-time funding to provide student loan repayment options for health care professionals who provide prenatal care in one of the designated rural areas.
Child Care Subsidies
The federal government is offering Arizona $56M in funding to provide child care subsidies in Arizona. Last year Arizona did not request this funding- in part because the state legislature did not appropriate these federal funds. The Governor’s budget this year asks the legislature to appropriate the funds to increase the child care subsidy rate and to serve children on the waitlist.
The program serves three client categories: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Transitional Child Care (TCC), and Low-Income Working (LIW). LIW has a waiting list and limits eligibility to low-income families who are working, teen parents in high school or GED classes, or residents of homeless or domestic violence shelters.
The proposed funding will serve approximately 400 children per month from the waitlist and increase the average child care subsidy rate from $365 per month to $438 per month.
Oral Health Coverage During Pregnancy
There's no mention of the money that would be needed to cover the state portion of providing comprehensive oral health services for pregnant Medicaid members- but that's OK. As you see below there is a bill that would accomplish that goal.