Kern County Program Provides Health Care for Some Children
About 2,000 Kern County children younger than age five are expected to receive health coverage under the Healthy Kids Kern County Insurance Program, the Bakersfield Californian reports. Many of the expected program enrollees are not eligible for other government or private health insurance programs because they are not legal U.S. residents, according to the Californian.
An estimated 6,000 Kern County children younger than age five do not have health insurance, according to First 5 Kern program officer Kimberly Fulton.
First 5 Kern sponsors the program, and the group's Children's Health Initiative has allocated $5.3 million over the next three years to finance it. To qualify for the program, children must be screened to ensure they do not qualify for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families.
Healthy Kids Kern County will provide medical, dental, vision and mental health services to enrollees. The program aims to reduce the number of emergency department visits by uninsured patients and provide preventive care to increase the number of healthy children and further reduce the cost of medical care.
CHI Coordinator Brooke Frost said the program intends to reach out to members of the county's agriculture sector to enroll their children.
Fresno and Tulare counties also are implementing similar programs, according to the Bee (Ortiz, Bakersfield Californian, 11/13).