Ventura County Supervisors Approve Plans To Expand Health Insurance Coverage to Uninsured Children
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 on Tuesday to conduct a study of costs and other concerns related to the creation of a Children's Health Initiative, the Ventura County Star reports. The initiative would provide coverage for all uninsured children, regardless of eligibility for state plans, advocates say.
According to a study by the University of California-Los Angeles, about 27,000 of 32,000 uninsured children in the county are eligible for but not enrolled in public health insurance programs.
County officials hope to increase enrollment in public health insurance programs by expanding outreach efforts and reducing paperwork to allow families to apply for coverage at a single location. The county could launch a pilot program to test the effort this fall in the Santa Clara Valley.
Supervisors on Tuesday also voted to require county Health Care Agency officials to consider a plan to cap medical costs for county services. Families eligible for county health care services would have access to a centralized physician, preventive care, dental treatment and mental health services.
Children's Health Initiatives currently operate in nine counties statewide and are under consideration in an additional 13.
Advocates for a Children's Health Initiative gave the supervisors' decision a "cautious endorsement," the Star reports. However, opponents of the plan said it would drain tax funds and create another bureaucracy (Levin, Ventura County Star, 6/15).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.