Health Access Program Raises Questions
Supporters of San Francisco's Health Access Program have raised questions over the plan's projected monthly rates, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The program, set to take effect July 2007, is designed to provide access to health services to 82,000 uninsured San Francisco residents for $200 million. Coverage includes inpatient, pharmacy, laboratory and specialty services.
The estimated cost per person is $2,400 per year, or about $200 per month.
Mark Smith, CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation, said that he supports the program, but questions how the plan can provide monthly rates that are almost half the state average.
Californians spent an average of $379 per month for health care premiums in 2006, according to a report last week by the California HealthCare Foundation.
Fred Naranjo, owner of Scarborough Insurance Agency in San Francisco, also added, "It's going to be a bare-bones policy" (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/3).
The extent to which preventive care will be covered, the structure of drug benefits and other details of the plan have not been finalized.
Public funds, mandatory employer contributions and member copayments will go toward covering the plan's estimated $200 million annual cost (California Healthline, 11/30).