Funding Crunch Forces Alameda County Healthy Kids Program To Close
On Tuesday, the Alameda Alliance for Health announced that it will close its Healthy Kids insurance program on Sept. 30, the East Bay Business Times reports.
The Healthy Kids program provides medical, vision and dental care to about 1,000 uninsured children in Alameda County whose families do not qualify for Medi-Cal or other public health insurance programs because of income restrictions or residency requirements. Healthy Kids is open to children from families whose incomes do not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level.
The alliance said the program is closing because of a "lack of permanent funding" and "failed health care policy reform." More than half of the program's funding came from Alameda County's share of state tobacco settlement funds, but that money was redirected to other county priorities because of reduced state funding for counties.
Ingrid Lamirault, CEO of the alliance, said children losing Healthy Kids coverage may be eligible for Kaiser Permanente's Child Health Plan.
To date, Alameda County's Healthy Kids program is the only one of about 30 programs statewide to announce its closure (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 7/8).
The closure announcement is on the alliance's Web site (.pdf).