Collaboration With Day Care Providers Could Increase Enrollment of Children in Health Insurance Programs
California could add 170,000 children to government subsidized health insurance plans by working with child care providers to identify and enroll children who may qualify for the benefits, according to a study by the 100% Campaign, the AP/Los Angeles Times reports. The study found that more than 67% of the state's one million uninsured children are eligible for Medi-Cal, Healthy Families or county health insurance programs. However, parents often are not aware that their children may qualify for the government programs, Deena Lahn, lead author of the study said. The study, called "Go Where They Are: Working With Child Care Programs to Reach Uninsured California Children," recommends that day care providers learn about the government health insurance programs, learn where to refer people and make the information available to parents, according to Lahn. In addition, Lahn said that state agencies could include information about the various health insurance programs with licensing information. "Finding these children, enrolling them in health insurance and keeping them enrolled is key to their healthy development and school readiness," Lahn said. The study did not calculate the cost of adding 170,000 children to government health programs, but Lahn said that California would avoid the costs of having those children treated in emergency rooms. The 100% Campaign is a coalition of children's advocacy groups, including Children Now, the Children's Defense Fund and the Children's Partnership (AP/Los Angeles Times, 9/17). The study is available online.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.