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Healthy Families

With enrollment badly lagging, state health officials said Tuesday that they will revamp aspects of California's $500-million Healthy Families insurance program for children of the working poor by streamlining the bulky application and improving community outreach, especially among Latinos. Three months after start-up, the state has enrolled only about 20,000 children--10% of the first year's target. About 60% of the eligible children in the state are Latino.
Bruce Bertrand lost his job last fall, stranding his wife and two young sons--one of them autistic--without health insurance. The children, Michael and Ryan, appeared to be perfect candidates for the state's Healthy Families program, California's version of a state- and federally funded insurance plan for children whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medi-Cal but too little to afford private coverage.
July 26, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
The veterinarian examined Bella, a spotted cocker spaniel, and quickly concluded she was obese and needed to lose weight. Working with a trainer, Maria Gastelum put her pooch on a nutrition and fitness plan. The regimen produced another benefit: Gastelum started to eat better and exercise more. "If I didn't have her, I wouldn't own a pair of tennis shoes," said the Ontario resident. "It's really unbelievable how she's motivated me. " Los Angeles County public health officials hope that millions of pets living in the region can provide the same sort of inspiration and results for their owners.
May 23, 2009 | Jia-Rui Chong; Hector Becerra; Mitchell Landsberg
California officials are considering significant cuts to major programs to close the state's budget deficit. Among them: Healthy Families, which provides youth medical coverage; CalWorks, which serves poor families with children; and Cal Grants college loans.
August 14, 2009 | Patrick McGreevy and Evan Halper
A state board voted today to begin terminating healthcare coverage for tens of thousands of low-income children on Oct. 1, the result of budget cuts recently signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. More than 60,000 children, up for annual reevaluation of their coverage next month, would be dropped from the Healthy Families program in October under the action by the state Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board. The board is scrambling to secure funding from other sources, including the Legislature and money set aside by voters for early childhood education.
May 27, 2000
In the last three years Washington has earmarked a whopping $2.4 billion for helping California expand its Healthy Families program to provide health insurance to children from working-poor families. Other states are seizing the federal dollars; why not, with Washington footing two-thirds of the bill? That's more generous than the federal government's other health insurance program for the working poor, Medicaid, which reimburses only half of state costs.
April 14, 2004
It is most unfortunate that H.D. Palmer, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Department of Finance spokesman, considers the growth in Healthy Families, a state insurance program for children, as "unsustainable" (April 7). It is funded by a 2-1 federal-state dollar match. A primary reason why there has been a quadrupling of Healthy Families caseloads is that when the program began in 1998, during the Wilson administration, it was hampered by a daunting 28-page enrollment form. Fortunately, this has changed.
January 30, 2003 | Akilah Johnson, Times Staff Writer
Nearly 40% of the low-income children enrolled in the state's publicly funded health insurance programs drop off the rolls within a year of joining, but such attrition is avoidable, says a new report by health policy experts released Wednesday. The renewal process should be simplified for both the Medi-Cal and Healthy Families programs, and premium payments for Healthy Families should be flexible if households have financial emergencies, the report urges.
April 13, 1998
A gold rush of federal funding--$1.7 billion over the next year and a half--is streaming from Washington to help California extend health insurance to uninsured children. But sometimes the Wilson administration seems to want less rather than more of the windfall. The ultimate recipients would be children whose working-poor families earn too much to qualify for Medi-Cal but don't have employer insurance; up to 580,000 kids in the state theoretically could be helped.
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