San Francisco Gears Up for Roll Out of Health Access Program
San Francisco next week will begin a limited enrollment drive for a program intended to provide access to health care services for all city residents, the San Francisco Examiner reports (Eslinger, San Francisco Examiner, 6/26).
Healthy San Francisco, formerly the Health Access Program, is expected to cost about $200 million annually. The city will contribute $104 million that it already spends on medical care for the uninsured. Premiums from plan members are expected to generate $56 million.
The program also would rely on mandatory contributions from businesses. That provision prompted the city's Golden Gate Restaurant Association to file a lawsuit against the city, claiming the employer mandate violates federal law (California Healthline, 5/9). The lawsuit is pending.
San Francisco officials will begin enrollment next week at two public health centers in Chinatown and in September will focus largely on existing clients of the Department of Public Health for a broader enrollment effort. Full enrollment is slated to begin in January 2008 (San Francisco Examiner, 6/26).