Enrollment Begins in San Francisco Health Care Access Program
Patients at two clinics in San Francisco's Chinatown on Monday began enrolling in Healthy San Francisco, a program intended to ensure access to health care services for uninsured adults in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
For July and August, city officials are limiting enrollment to patients at North East Medical Services and Chinatown Public Health Center to help identify and correct any problems with the sign-up process. The program will expand to include patients at other city clinics in September, although enrollment will be limited to city residents whose incomes do not exceed the federal poverty level until Jan. 1, 2008.
Beginning in 2008, the program is slated to be open to all uninsured residents who are ineligible for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, or other publicly funded health insurance initiatives. Eligibility for the program will not take into account immigration status, pre-existing medical conditions or employment.
Members will make copayments and pay quarterly premiums to help cover the cost of the program. Public funds and employer premiums are intended to account for the balance of the program's cost, although the Golden Gate Restaurant Association is challenging the provision of the plan that mandates employer contributions (Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/3).