Young adults living in Fresno, Madera or Kings counties and who are not eligible for Medi-Cal or other type of health insurance can enroll in Kaiser’s Community Health Care Program.
The program, which provides individuals with health insurance options, was launched in 2017 and expands health care coverage at no cost to uninsured, low-income residents ages 19 to 25.
“We saw the need for this coverage and wanted to continue offering it to young adult residents who don’t have other options,” said Wade Nogy, Kaiser Permanente Fresno senior vice president and area manager.
Kaiser Permanente has offered the coverage for almost two decades. During that time, the program has evolved and changed names a few times, and most recently was called the Child Health Program, which previously covered only children up to age 19.
The Health Care program is open to young adults under the age of 26 who live in a household with an income no more than three times the federal poverty level – up to $36,420 for a single person or up to $75,300 for a family of four in 2018.
To be eligible for the Health Care program U.S. citizenship is not necessary.
To qualify, residents must also not have access to other health coverage like Medi-Cal or other job-based health care coverage.
Those enrolled in the program won’t have a monthly premium for coverage, and young adults in the program will have access to Kaiser Permanente’s integrated health care system and team of care providers. Coverage includes preventive care, medication and vision services.
“What we hear from the community was that it was a program that was desperately needed it,” said Salina Mendoza, Community Benefit Manager for Kaiser Permanente Fresno of having the program for a second year. “We hear that there is a gap every time we talk to out Valley parents. So there were a lot of people looking to see if it was going to be open again this year and excited for it to be open.”
“So we are really excited to kick it off again,” Mendoza said. “As long as you are zero to under 26 let’s get you sign up for this awesome program.”
Enrollment in the Community Health Care Program for next year runs through Jan. 15, 2019.
“We want folks to enroll early because the sooner you enroll the longer you get health coverage and you are covered longer,” said Salina Mendoza, Community Benefit Manager for Kaiser Permanente Fresno. “That’s why we are encouraging people to enroll earlier”.
Kaiser Permanente is working with local community organizations and non-profits to identify residents who may be eligible.
“We are working on this project with six community base organizations and three of them are doing outreach support, going out to the community, being present at events talking to folks about the program and eligibility and getting them connected to our three enrollers,” said Mendoza. “We have three other agencies that are doing the actual enrollment.”
Those organizations include Centro Binacional Para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño, The Fresno Center, Centro La Familia Advocacy Services, Fresno Barrios Unidos, Education Leadership Foundation and Cultiva la Salud.
“Kaiser Permanente believes that all residents deserve access to high-quality, affordable health care,” Nogy said. “We are pleased to offer this coverage for a second year and encourage those without coverage who might be eligible to apply.”