KAISER PERMANENTE: Launches Charity Children’s Insurance Program
Kaiser Permanente has kicked off its Child Health Plan, which will provide subsidized health coverage for 43,000 children statewide at a estimated cost of $20 million a year. Kaiser implemented the plan in response to criticism that it has "not shoulder[ed] enough of the indigent-care burden," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Approximately 1.7 million California children are without health insurance and an estimated 170,000 live in San Diego County. The plan will accept school-age children on a first-come, first-served basis, according to program director Linda Kotis, with no proof of citizenship required and no exclusions based on pre-existing health conditions. Parents will be charged premiums of between $25 and $35 per month per child depending on their income. The Union-Tribune reports that Kaiser's initiation of the plan yesterday in San Diego "came on the day that the county's Healthy San Diego program was to have started directing many state Medi-Cal patients into HMOs," but that the program's implementation was "delayed until at least Dec. 1." County and state officials are waiting for federal approval of the plan (Dalton, 10/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.