A coalition of healthcare organizations formally launched an ambitious $112 million program to expand medical, dental and vision coverage to 150,000 uninsured children in Los Angeles County over the next three years. The Children's Health Initiative of Greater Los Angeles -- a collaboration of the California Endowment, L.A. Care Health Plan, the county Department of Health Services and other public and private groups -- will provide insurance for children ages 6 to 18 in families that do not qualify for the state's Medi-Cal or Healthy Families programs because of income or immigration status. The coalition hopes to help enroll 90,000 children in existing government-funded programs, while an additional 60,000 children would receive the new coverage. The new coverage is available to families earning up to 300% of the federal poverty level, or about $56,000 for a family of four, and to undocumented immigrants with similar incomes. The initiative is being funded by donations from Blue Shield of California, the California Community Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and other sources, and includes a network of about 3,400 physicians. -- by Laura B. Benko
Calif. group aims to bring coverage to 150,000 kids
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