San Mateo County Weighs Plan for Universal Coverage
San Mateo County officials on Monday threw their support behind a proposal that would provide health insurance coverage to 2,100 adult residents, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The proposal would represent the first phase in the county's goal to extend health care coverage to all 36,000 to 44,000 uninsured county adults.
Jerry Hill, county supervisor and member of the county Blue Ribbon Task Force on Adult Health Care Coverage Expansion, said the proposal would apply to adults with incomes ranging from 200% to 400% of the federal poverty level.
S.T. Mayer, policy and program analyst for the county, said that monthly premiums for the plan would range from $25 to $100 and that the plans also would include copayments. Mayer said the county also plans to create a tiered system that would include insurance that could be purchased by any resident, regardless of income.
The county would use $22.5 million in state funds over three years to fund the proposal.
Mayer said the county would have to pay $75.5 million to provide coverage to all uninsured adults.
Maya Altman, executive director of the county's Medi-Cal insurance manager Health Plan of San Mateo, said the Health Plan would oversee the care of the enrollees in the plan.
The county task force delayed until June 12 a vote on the $22.5 million proposal, which then would be sent to county supervisors.
The task force also requested an extension from June 12 until the end of the year to determine how to fund a plan for covering all uninsured county residents. Members are considering funding sources from employers, a local health care district or a sales tax (Carpenter, San Francisco Examiner, 5/15).