There is no reason a child should be without health insurance in Yolo County. This is because organizations such as the Yolo County Children’s Alliance have specially trained staff to help local families find and enroll their children in a health plan that best fits the family’s financial situation.
Available plans for income-qualifying families, including undocumented residents, are Medi-Cal, Optional Targeted Low Income Children’s Program (OTLICP) formerly known as “Healthy Families,” Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) and the Kaiser Permanente Child Health Plan.
Kaiser, which provides comprehensive health and dental care to children who do not qualify for government programs, like Medi-Cal, is working to get the word out about the plan to parents.
“We are reaching out to enroll as many eligible children as possible during this critical time — before health care reform introduces specific enrollment periods and changes that may be confusing for many families,” says Sherry Novick, managing director of community benefit programs for Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser currently provides full membership to more than 50,000 low-income children throughout Northern California through its subsidized child health plan. To participate in the Kaiser plan, families typically pay $8 to $15 per month for each covered child, with $5 co-pays for physician visits. Services provided on the plan are free or very low-cost, including immunizations, hospitalization services and eye exams.
OTLICP also has small monthly fees while Medi-Cal is free. Coverage typically includes preventative care, immunizations, emergency care, specialists, prescriptions, mental health, hospitalization, vision, dental care, drug and alcohol treatment and a 24-hour nurse advice call line.
For the past seven years, Kaiser has worked with the Yolo County Children’s Alliance to provide health coverage to local children left out of government programs such as Medi-Cal and the former Healthy Families, because they are immigrants without the required documentation or have parents with incomes barely above the eligibility limit for other programs.
“Typically, a family of four earning less than $60,000 per year is eligible for one of the free or low-cost health coverage programs we have available in Yolo County,” said Katie Villegas, executive director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance.
“Every child in Yolo County should have needed health care, including preventative care,” she continued. “Health coverage through government programs and Kaiser Permanente is a life-saver for thousands of children and helps ensure our kids are growing up healthy and missing fewer days of school because of health issues.”
For more information, go to www.info.kp.org/childhealthplan or www.yolokids.org. To speak to a Yolo County Children’s Alliance representative, call 530-757-5558. Information and applications are available in both English and Spanish.