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Many Uninsured Children Qualify for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families

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Publication Date: June 2004

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck; Hongjian Yu; Ying-Ying Meng; Y. Jenny Chia

Funder(s): California Endowment

Funder(s): California Endowment

Topic: Health (Health services for children)

Keywords: Medi-Cal; Healthy Families; health insurance

Type: Brief

Coverage: California


This policy brief highlights the geographic variations in uninsured children's Medi-Cal/Healthy Family eligibility rates by state Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts, as well as by counties and the Los Angeles Service Planning Areas (SPAs). Funded by The California Endowment, the brief is particularly relevant at this time when the lack of health insurance among children is becoming a focus of state and national policymakers as well as advocacy groups, including the recently approved expansion of the Healthy Families program by the Department of Health and Human Services. Uninsured-eligibility rates were estimated by applying a small-area methodology to multiple data sources, including the 2001 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2001), 2000-2002 Current Population Surveys, and the 2000 Census.

Among the key findings are:

The areas in the state that had notably high numbers of uninsured-and-eligible children were located primarily in the greater Southern California and Central Valley regions of the state.

Almost one out of every three California child who was uninsured-and-eligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families in 2002 lived in a geographic area with uninsured-eligibility rates at or below the statewide average.