CALIFORNIA: CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN EXPANDS
CaliforniaKids, a nonprofit health insurance program forThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
poor uninsured children, expanded into Santa Clara County Monday,
"offering inexpensive coverage for an initial enrollment of about
300 youngsters." Steve Robitaille, a spokesperson for Santa
Clara County's public health and hospital system, said that the
insurance does not carry a monthly charge, but patients must make
a $5 copayment for some services. The program is paid for by the
CaliforniaKids Foundation, which raises money from businesses,
individuals, foundations and civic groups. CaliforniaKids
currently provides comprehensive coverage to nearly 10,000
children who were previously uninsured in 15 counties, including
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda.
THE PROGRAM: The plan covers doctor visits, dental care,
vision care, prescription drugs, laboratory testing and X-rays,
emergency medical care, routine physical exams, immunizations and
"access to a 24-hour telephone advice line staffed by nurse
counselors." Santa Clara County enrollees will receive care at
eight regional health centers and the county's public hospital.
HELPING THOSE IN NEED: Robitaille said that more than two
million children in the state currently lack health insurance.
Most of the uninsured are from working families who earn too much
to qualify for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, and too
little to be able to afford private insurance, he said. In order
to qualify for CaliforniaKids, a family of four must earn more
than $15,000 a year, but less than $30,000 (Guara, SAN FRANCISCO