Santa Clara County Healthy Kids Program Expands Coverage
An additional 1,000 children will receive coverage through the Santa Clara Family Health Plan as a result of a $1.5 million funding increase from First 5 Santa Clara County, a commission that distributes the county's share of state tobacco tax funds to various early childhood development programs, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Coverage for the additional children, who were on a waiting list, will begin in July and August.
The health plan, which includes the county's Healthy Kids insurance program, provides health insurance for uninsured children who are not eligible for other government-subsidized health care programs.
The commission expanded its annual $3 million contribution to cover the costs of higher premiums for children five years old and younger. The added money from First 5 frees up the health plan's remaining funding to expand coverage to more children ages six to 18.
An additional 850 children will remain on the waiting list, possibly for as long as eight months, the Mercury News reports.
The Healthy Kids program, which began in 2001, provides medical, dental and vision coverage for monthly premiums as low as $4. Ten other counties have adopted the program's model of locally funded health coverage, and an additional 18 counties are considering similar plans, the Mercury News reports (de Sa, San Jose Mercury News, 6/30).