County Moves Forward with ACA Formula

The supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday for the county to move forward with a previously discussed formula that the state will use to redirect funds formerly set aside for Public Health to other state needs, as part of California’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To allow for ACA in California, the governor’s 2013-14 budget, among other things, created a new Medi-Cal benefit package and ordered the counties to return $300 million to the state they will no longer need to cover the indigent. The supervisors approved a “set percentage” formula that will pay back $2.3 million this fiscal year and $7.3 million in 2014-15. Public Health expects to net about $4.3 million in cost avoidance and new Medi-Cal enrollment in 2014-15, which would leave a nearly $3 million budget gap. The county is currently in negotiations to contract out its clinical lab services, which could cover a good chunk of the gap.

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