HEALTHY FAMILIES: Program Enrollment Jumps to 305,000
The number of children enrolled in Healthy Families has jumped from 32,000 in January 1999 to 305,000 currently. The boost in enrollment stems in part from the reduction in the application form's size, from 28 pages to four, and the translation of materials into 10 different languages. Last year, the state earmarked $6 million for outreach programs targeting eligible children at local clinics and organizations and increased program funding from $56 million to $224.9 million. In his FY 2000-2001 budget, Gov. Gray Davis (D) proposed another hike in Healthy Families funding, appropriating $425.8 million. With the additional funds, Davis hopes to expand coverage to 511,000 children by the end of the year. He also has recommended increasing funding for outreach programs from $21 million to $34.2 million, with $10 million to be used specifically for enrolling "hard to reach" children (Office of the Governor release, 7/14).
More than 10,000 children living in Riverside and San Bernardino counties have enrolled in Inland Empire Health Plan's Healthy Families Program as of July 1, giving the plan the seventh- highest enrollment ranking in the state. According to IEHP CEO Richard Bruno, the plan hopes to expand its rolls further by signing up an additional 10,000 children within the next six months to a year. Currently, about one-third of eligible children living in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are enrolled in the program (IEHP release, 7/5).