Conference Looks at Using School-Based Programs to Boost Medi-Cal, Healthy Families Enrollment
Nearly 200 health providers and school and government officials from Kern, Fresno and Tulare counties met Tuesday at a conference in Bakersfield to explore strategies for enrolling more eligible children in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, the Bakersfield Californian reports. Consumers Union sponsored the conference as part of its Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools project, which has established eight school-based pilot programs in various cities to test methods of reaching the uninsured. Elena Chavez, policy analyst and project coordinator at Consumers Union, said, "Our goal is to link children with health insurance programs, specifically government-sponsored. Families trust schools, so schools can get the word out about these programs." About 1.48 million of the state's two million uninsured children are eligible but not enrolled in Healthy Families or Medi-Cal. In addition to increasing enrollment, Chavez said that the three-year-old project aims to ensure that families enrolled in programs actually utilize the available services. She added, "Children have been enrolled, but now we don't know how many of them are using the services." Consumers Union is developing an outreach program with the Bakersfield City School District (Machuca, Bakersfield Californian, 5/2).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.