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December 17, 2008

First 5 California Contribution Extends Health Coverage to More Than 65,000 Children

With the help of funding from First 5 California, the state's Healthy Families program today moved to safeguard more than 65,000 infants and children from waiting lists for health coverage due to the budget crisis.

First 5 California will provide $16.7 million to the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, the agency that administers Healthy Families. The funds will be used to pay health care premiums for children up to age 5 who are new applicants to Healthy Families through the end of the fiscal year in June.

"Today's action will allow the state to continue to enroll tens of thousands of infants and children in the Healthy Families program, ensuring them access to much-needed health care services," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

With their unanimous vote Monday, State Commissioners affirmed First 5 California's ongoing commitment to helping ensure all children have access to health coverage, particularly during this period of high unemployment and economic instability.

"First 5's action shows that anything is possible when all sides come together to tackle a problem -- even in the worst budget times," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass added, "I thank the First 5 commissioners, including my appointees to the panel, for hearing our appeals and stepping up to the plate with a responsible resolution for these children."

Since voters passed Proposition 10 in 1998, First 5 California has established itself as the largest and most stable funding source of health coverage for children up to age 5 in California. Last year, the agency spent more than $48 million on children's health insurance.

"First 5 California is proud to help take this first step forward in expanding children's health coverage as part of our larger mandate to serve the needs of our state's youngest children," said Kris Perry, First 5 California executive director.

Forty-seven county commissions are committed to presenting their commissioners with requests to help provide part of this funding in the coming weeks.

First 5 county commissions that have pledged support include: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.

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Posted by healthinsurance at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2008

Anthem Blue Cross Gives the Gift of Health to California

This December, Anthem Blue Cross is giving the gift of health to California as the Anthem Blue Cross HealthFair Bus travels the state offering free health evaluations. Launching on Monday, December 1 from the Anthem offices in Woodland Hills, California, the bus will depart on a multi-city tour to include Los Angeles, Ventura, Oxnard, Ojai, Fresno, Sacramento and San Francisco.

"Onboard the Anthem Blue Cross HealthFair Bus visitors will receive, free-of-charge, a health evaluation consisting of a full lipid panel; weight, height and waist measurements; blood pressure test; and Body Mass Index analysis. Together, these tests provide a snapshot of one's personal health," explained Leslie A. Margolin, president of Anthem Blue Cross. "Anthem is committed to the community, offering this service regardless of employment, immigration or insurance status. By proactively empowering individuals with vital, personal, medical information, we are taking an important step toward keeping Californians healthy."

"We're particularly enthusiastic about this tour because we'll be reaching several populations that might not necessarily have access to basic primary healthcare," noted Margolin. "For example, in the greater Los Angeles area we are partnering with strong community organizations such as the Urban League, P.A.T.H. (People Assisting The Homeless) and the Kedren Community Mental Health Center -- offering the free health screenings to their constituents. Anthem is committed to improving the lives of the people we serve and the health of our communities."

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Posted by healthinsurance at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)