Contra Costa County Supervisors Vote to Expand Health Program to Seniors, Children and Undocumented Immigrants
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors yesterday unanimously approved a sliding fee schedule for the county's Basic Care Adult Program, a move that will allow children, seniors and undocumented immigrants to participate, the Contra Costa Times reports. The program, established in 1985, provides "wide-ranging" health coverage for county residents with annual incomes less than 300% of the federal poverty level who do not qualify for Medicare, Medi-Cal or Healthy Families. The program had excluded undocumented immigrants and county residents older than age 65 and younger than age 21. The expanded program, renamed the Basic Health Care Program, will allow the groups to pay fees of $25, $50 or $75 per month, based on income, to participate. County health officials predict that the new fee schedule "will either maintain or increase" county revenue. However, Supervisor Federal Glover expressed concern that the fee schedule, which requires program participants to pay before they receive care, could "prevent residents from seeking preventive treatment." As a result, he added a provision to the fee schedule proposal that requires the county director of health services to report on the progress of the program in one year. "We already have major issues because people are not getting the kind of care they need. And down the line, that results in even greater costs," Glover said (Felsenfeld, Contra Costa Times, 5/15).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.