Children’s Health Coverage
Several factors can predict children's enrollment in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, including immigration status, ethnicity, income and county-level outreach, a study in Health Services Research found. Medi-Cal and Healthy Families are California's Medicaid program and State Children's Health Insurance Program, respectively.
Based on these factors, the authors concluded that efforts to increase enrollment should focus on low-income, immigrant families, especially Hispanics, as well as older children and children living in larger and urban counties.
The researchers also make recommendations for enrolling more uninsured children in the programs, including:
- Simplifying the enrollment process;
- Funding community-based organizations and agencies that focus on outreach efforts; and
- Expanding eligibility to more children (Kincheloe et al., Health Services Research, April 2007).
Children enrolled in a Healthy Kids insurance program for one year were in better health than new enrollees in the program, a study in Health Services Research found. Healthy Kids is a county-based, public-private entity that provides health care coverage to low-income children in California.
The researchers found that children enrolled in Healthy Kids for at least one year were less likely to miss three or more days of school than newly enrolled children. In addition, among children who enrolled for a specific medical reason, the rate of functional impairments was lower for children enrolled for one year.
The authors concluded that continued investment in programs to provide health care coverage to underserved children likely will improve health outcomes (Howell/Trenholm, Health Services Research, April 2007). 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.