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First 5 LA Strategy Shift Brings an End to Healthy Kids Program

Posted by Anulkah Thomas, Health Coverage Policy Analyst on May 22nd, 2015
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To date First 5 LA, with funds from Prop 10, has invested over $1 billion to support the healthy development of children from the womb through age 5. Recently they released a new strategic plan that shifts funding priorities to policy and systems change efforts. As a result many programs will no longer receive First 5 LA funding and potentially close, such as Healthy Kids. Healthy Kids provides comprehensive health insurance through LA Care to children ages 0 to 5, with family incomes up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), regardless of their immigration status, and who do not qualify other health coverage.

By September 2015, families with children currently in Healthy Kids will receive details about the official close date (expected to be December 31, 2015). At that point families will have other options:

  • Kaiser Child Health Plan (CHP) - same eligibility criteria but a lower income level, 300% FPL. While this program will provide comparable benefits to Healthy Kids, children will lose access to their providers and have to re-establish care within the Kaiser network.
  • My Health LA (MHLA) – similar eligibility criteria but at a much lower income level, 138% FPL.  Currently the program is only available to consumers between the ages of 6 and 64 but a request to amend this will be brought to the LA County Board of Supervisors very soon. MHLA will allow some children to continue using their same providers, but the benefits are substantially less than Healthy Kids and the Kaiser CHP.

New enrollments will be accepted through September 30, 2015.  For more information, or to enroll in Healthy Kids coverage for 2015, families can contact LA Care directly at 1-888-452-2273 or get assistance through a contracted community organization. These agencies can also provide information on other coverage options including Kaiser CHP and MHLA.

For more information, please contact Community Health Councils’ Policy Analyst, Anulkah Thomas at anulkah@chc-inc.org

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