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Issue last published on September 8, 2011 at 2:12 PM EST.
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Community e-Newsletter

Summer-Fall 2011   VOLUME 1 ISSUE 5  
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Preventing Blindness from Diabetes
Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board
Pertussis Vaccination Now Required
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Frank Staggers, Sr, MD Receives CMAF Award
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Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board
Reducing the Number of Uninsured in California
by Ernesto Sanchez and Brittany Harris

The Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) was created in 1990 to develop strategies for reducing the number of uninsured persons in the state of California. The Board originally started by serving people who were medically uninsurable and had been denied insurance coverage in the commercial insurance marketplace.

The Board oversees operation of four programs that serve lower income and high health risk individuals. They are:

  • The Healthy Families Program: The largest of MRMIB’s programs, Healthy Families serves children of low-income families through age 18, providing medical, dental and vision benefits in all 58 of the state’s counties. MRMIB is best known for this program which is the California version of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), in which it provides coverage to about 900,000 children (up to age 19) in working families that do not qualify for Medi-Cal. California’s CHIP is currently the largest program in the nation, outpacing the 2nd to 4th ranked states combined. Funded by both the federal and state governments, the Healthy Families Program provides medical, dental, and vision coverage to children and families who pay a small minimal monthly premium. The income level of families enrolled in the program ranges from 100%-250% of the federal poverty level.
    It is important to note, the Healthy Families Program and Medi-Cal have decreased the uninsured rate among children and are open for new enrollment. Estimates suggest that there are roughly 800,000 children that are potentially eligible for either the Healthy Families Program or Medi-Cal but are not currently enrolled, remaining uninsured.
  • Access for Infants and Mothers: AIM serves the specialized audience of middle-income pregnant women and their new-born infants. The AIM (Access for Infants and Mothers) program provides comprehensive coverage to middle-income pregnant women who do not qualify for Medi-Cal, up to 300% of the federal poverty level. The monthly premiums for this group are roughly 1.5% of their adjusted household income.
  • Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan: PCIP is a federally funded program that is a part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, operated by the state of California that provides medical coverage to persons with pre-existing health conditions who cannot obtain health insurance or affordable coverage options in the individual commercial insurance market.
  • Major Risk Medical Insurance Program: MRMIP is a state-funded program that provides medical coverage to persons with pre-existing health conditions who cannot obtain health insurance or affordable coverage options in the individual commercial market.

Recently, a proposal to eliminate the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board and move its programs under the Medi-Cal Agency failed during the recent budget negotiations. MRMIB continues to serve uninsured populations through its programs and continues to support the evolution of the California Health Care System under the Affordable Care Act, which will be fully implemented in 2014. Ernesto Sanchez, Deputy Director of Eligibility, Enrollment and Marketing at MRMIB states, “We are committed to providing the best quality services to the uninsured populations that we’re privileged to serve.”

To find out more about the MRMIB and its programs, please visit: www.mrmib.ca.gov.
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