First Regional Healthy Kids Program Launches
Officials from Colusa, El Dorado, Sacramento and Yuba counties on Thursday announced the state's first regional children's health insurance program, the Sacramento Bee reports. The program, called Healthy Kids Healthy Futures, is intended to provide health, dental and vision benefits to children whose families' annual incomes do not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level, regardless of their immigration status.
The regional format of the program is intended to help address situations in which families move back and forth between counties. Eighteen counties in California operate similar programs.
Program officials this month will begin working to contact about 40,000 uninsured children in the counties and to enroll eligible children in Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, as well as Healthy Families, its health insurance program for moderate- and low-income children. About 30,000 uninsured children in the counties are believed to be eligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families.
The program is expected to cost about $12.5 million annually, about $100 monthly per child. About $2.5 million will come from the counties' First Five Commissions, which receive money from a state tobacco tax for health and other programs for children younger than age six.
Counties, foundations and businesses have pledged an additional $2 million, with Kaiser Permanente offering an unlimited number of enrollment slots for children in Sacramento, and Health Net also has pledged some enrollment slots.
Bonnie Ferreira, executive director of the program, said full funding had not been raised to fund coverage for children ages six to 18, adding that officials do not expect to reach all eligible children in the first year (Wiener, Sacramento Bee, 9/29).
Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" on Friday reported on enrollment in Sacramento County's Healthy Kids/Healthy Future program. The segment includes comments from Bonnie Ferreira, executive director of the program (Ciurczak, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 9/29).
The complete transcript of the segment is available online. The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.