Ventura County Supervisors Approve Measure To Expand Health Care Coverage for Children
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a measure intended to expand health care coverage for uninsured children by creating a program similar to Healthy Kids programs in other California counties, the Ventura County Star reports. The program, which provides medical and mental health coverage but not dental and vision coverage, is estimated to cost $180,000 this year and $400,000 next year.
Beginning on Monday, county agencies will begin a pilot program in Santa Paula that is intended to simplify enrollment in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. The initiative will be expanded to Oxnard, Simi Valley and Ventura after any possible problems are adjusted.
About 27,000 of 32,000 uninsured children in Ventura County are eligible for Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. Families of the 5,000 children who do not qualify will be informed about a low-cost Kaiser Permanente health plan, which is open to documented residents whose incomes exceed government eligibility guidelines but who cannot afford health insurance.
For those who do not receive coverage through the Kaiser plan, the county hospital and its various clinics will provide discounted fees. Office visits will cost $10, prescriptions $5 and an emergency department visit $25. Family incomes cannot exceed 300% of the federal poverty level to receive the discounted rates (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 10/5).