Department of Health, Idaho
The purpose of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is to promote the health and safety of Idahoans through programs dealing with social, economic, and health issues including medical insurance, child care, and substance abuse problems.
The 2011 total fund appropriations totaled $436,335,100. The recommended 2012 total fund appropriations budget is $583,266,400. The budget totals for the department over the past five years are as follows:
The Department's 2009 Annual Report notes the impact of the recession, stating that the number of Idahoans seeking Food Stamps increased 73 percent between July 2007 and July 2009, while the state faced decreased revenues. Governor Otter directed state agencies to hold back four percent of their general fund appropriations in 2009 and 2010 faced further reductions
The Department is comprised of eight divisions, including Medicaid, Public Health, Behavioral Health, Family and Community Services, Welfare, Management Services, Human Resources, and Information and Technology.
The Department operates the state's Medicaid program, which provides healthcare coverage for people under age 19 or with relatives under age 19, pregnant women, women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer or pre-cancer, people aged 65 or older, people blind or disable. Total Medicaid appropriations for 2010-2011 were $1,554,829,900. The program faced reduced federal funding in 2010 by approximately $30 million. The program will request additional funds in 2011 to cover the shortfall. Enrollment in the program averaged 210,015 participants per month in 2010, which was a 9% increase from 2009's enrollement.
The Department also offers the Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid.
The Department runs the state's Food Stamp program, which helps low-income families purchase food. In 2010, 21,620 applicants to the program were approved and 81,794 were denied. The average number of individuals served monthly in 2010 was 179,074.
In June 2010, 304,414 people received assistance in the form of Medicaid, Food Stamps, or other welfare assistance, which is almost 20 percent of the State's population. This figure represents a 41% growth from the previous two fiscal year.
A public records request form is available on the Department of Health and Welfare website.
Information regarding background check requirements for employees of the Department is also posted.