California health leaders say moving nearly 900,000 children in the Healthy Families program over to Medi-Cal will help the state get ready for the federal health overhaul.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Diana Dooley spoke in advance of a legislative oversight hearing on the transition.
“There are a number of advantages for the children in the Medi-Cal program, it does give the security of knowing where their coverage will be in advance of 2014.”
Dooley says kids in the two programs have some of the same providers.
But doctors and consumer groups were strongly opposed to eliminating Healthy Families. They say it’s a successful program.
They say they remain concerned that families may not get proper notice of the switch, and could be unable to connect with doctors.
Children will move into Medi-Cal in phases, starting January 2013.