SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The launch of Healthy Kids, a new
program that takes San Francisco one step closer to creating universal health
care coverage for its 10,000 uninsured children, was announced today by
San Francisco Health Plan and Mayor Willie Brown. The City is the second
County in the nation to commit to the goal of covering all its eligible kids.
For only $4 a month for each child, Healthy Kids gives families access to
quality medical, dental, and vision coverage -- regardless of their child's
The program provides a critically needed solution for working families who
earn too much to qualify for other government-subsidized programs, but not
enough to afford private health care coverage, or for those who do not receive
coverage from their employers. Healthy Kids is available to children under
age 19, whose families earn less than 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level
(for example, an annual income of $43,890 for a family of three or $52,950 for
a family of four).
"I'm very proud to launch the Healthy Kids initiative, which will provide
an affordable solution for working and immigrant families that need access to
quality health care for their children," said Mayor Brown. "By extending
health care coverage to San Francisco's children, we are closing a major gap
in our system and taking a giant step toward universal health care for all
San Franciscans, which has always been my long-term goal."
Jean Fraser, CEO of the San Francisco Health Plan, observed that "quite
often, working families don't even realize that they qualify for medical
coverage for their kids -- and Healthy Kids now ensures that nearly every
child can be covered. In today's tougher economic times, parents are often
forced to choose between their children's medical care and paying their rent.
With Healthy Kids, they will be able to do both."
"A groundbreaking component of Healthy Kids is that San Francisco children
are eligible, regardless of immigration status, and enrollment in Healthy Kids
does not affect the family's legal status, or that of their sponsor. With
this program, parents of immigrant children and working families will be able
afford the wellness visits so crucial to keeping kids healthy and out of the
emergency room," said Dr. Mitchell H. Katz, the City's Director of Health, and
Chair of the San Francisco Health Plan's Board.
Of the nearly 10,000 children without coverage in the City, the majority
are from working families in the Latino, Asian, and African-American
communities. Children without health coverage are less likely to benefit from
a regular doctor or primary care, making them more likely to suffer from
undiagnosed and untreated illnesses, and placing them at high risk for
otherwise avoidable diseases. Healthy Kids will help San Francisco reduce the
high cost of emergency room visits and hospitalizations, ease the burden of
medical bills for parents, and most importantly -- protect San Francisco's
children from needless pain and suffering.
To commemorate the new Healthy Kids program, the Mayor has proclaimed
January 13th Healthy Kids Day in San Francisco. Parents can be among the
first to apply for the program by attending neighborhood enrollment festivals
at Jean Parker Elementary in Chinatown on January 12 and at Mission Dolores
Auditorium or the Bayview Opera House on January 13. Parents can also get
more information and apply for coverage for their children by calling
San Francisco Health Plan (SFHP) is a licensed health plan providing
affordable health coverage to low and moderate-income families residing in
San Francisco. A local not-for-profit plan, SFHP was designed for and by the
residents it serves -- many of whom would not be able to otherwise obtain
health care for themselves or their families. Through SFHP, members have
access to a full spectrum of medical services, including preventive care,
hospitalization, prescription drugs, family planning, and substance abuse
programs. SFHP's mission is to provide superior, affordable health care that
emphasizes prevention and promotes healthy living, with the goal of improving
the quality of life for the people of San Francisco.
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SOURCE San Francisco Health Plan