Los Angeles County Agency Launches $100 Million Program To Provide Health Care to Children
Representatives from First 5 L.A. on Monday announced the launch of the Healthy Kids initiative, a $100 million program intended to provide free and low-cost medical, dental and vision services to all children in the county younger than age six, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Under the program, eligible children will have access to comprehensive health care with premiums on a sliding scale based on family income but capped at $6 per month. Copayments will be capped at $5 per visit. To be eligible, children must be Los Angeles County residents -- although no proof of residency is required -- and their family's income must be below a certain level. For example, the annual income for a family of four cannot exceed $55,224. The Tarzana Treatment Center in Tarzana and Lancaster, the Glendale Adventist Medical Center and the Pasadena Public Health Department have agreed to serve as providers under the program. About 15,000 of the 73,000 uninsured children younger than age five are expected to qualify for Healthy Kids; First 5 L.A. officials will attempt to enroll the remaining children in other state-federal insurance programs, including Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. The agency, formerly the Los Angeles County Children and Families First Proposition 10 Commission, will fund the initiative with the approximately $130 million it receives each year in tobacco tax revenues. Meanwhile, First 5 L.A. is currently raising funds for an initiative to provide health care to the approximately 276,000 children ages six to 18 in Los Angeles County who lack health coverage (Gao, Los Angeles Daily News, 9/8).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.