California Endowment Begins $20M Campaign To Boost Medi-Cal, Healthy Families Enrollment in Los Angeles County
The California Endowment yesterday launched a five-year, $20 million program to increase enrollment of low-income Los Angeles County families in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, the Los Angeles Times reports. Under the program -- which will target ethnic minorities -- schools, churches and community organizations will educate families about the health programs, help simplify the enrollment process and address the concerns of immigrants, who sometimes incorrectly believe that signing up for public programs will endanger their immigration status. VIDA, a San Fernando Valley-based project that educates low-income families about their health care options and links them with providers, will receive $2.5 million over the next three years as part of the initiative. The group is seeking to increase public health program enrollment in the San Fernando Valley from 800 families to 1,200 families. In addition, VIDA plans to extend its services into the San Gabriel Valley by starting a new project that will train "health care promoters." California Endowment President Robert Ross said, "It was clear that culturally appropriate approaches were critical to the success of addressing the problem. We felt that [Los Angeles County], being the melting pot of California, was a great place to test these strategies." The endowment plans to give other counties similar grants, aiming to help the 768,000 uninsured California children who are thought to be eligible for public health insurance enroll in those programs. "In our grandest notion we'd love to see the term 'unenrolled but eligible' as an anachronism. I'm not sure we'll ever get that far, but certainly I think we can put a dent in that number," Ross said (Luna, Los Angeles Times, 4/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.