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Local Efforts to Increase Health Insurance Coverage Among Children in California

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Publication Date: February 2002

Publisher(s): Medi-Cal Policy Institute

Author(s): Peter Long

Funder(s): California HealthCare Foundation

Funder(s): California HealthCare Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for children)

Type: Report

Coverage: California


In California, local organizations play a central role in the state's efforts to enroll low-income children in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. Many successful outreach programs have been designed and implemented at the local level to reach the 726,000 uninsured children who may qualify for Medi-Cal and the additional 535,000 uninsured children who may qualify for Healthy Families. In the past six months, under the state's leadership, these outreach efforts have been extended to ensure successful enrollment, encourage the appropriate use of health services, and support the retention of coverage over time.

This background paper examines the practices of a variety of local programs involved in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families outreach to develop a clearer picture of effective strategies. It is difficult to generalize about local outreach efforts because each project has a unique set of
characteristics that has developed in response to the needs of the local community, the history of the agency, and funding sources. Broadly speaking, however, outreach projects can be grouped into three categories based on the primary site of their activities: (1) health facilities, including public and private hospitals and clinics; (2) school-based programs; and (3) community-based organizations (CBOs) such as churches, job-training sites, and cultural organizations.