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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Expanding coverage of the uninsured: Challenges to a local safety net system

Luella J. Penserga, MPH, Community Voices-Oakland, Alameda Health Consortium, 1320 Harbor Bay Parkway, Suite 250, Alameda, CA 94502, 510-769-2243, luellap@chcn-eb.org

Alameda County, California is located east of San Francisco, and is home to the cities of Oakland and Berkeley. Approximately 169,000 people in the county are uninsured; more than half of uninsured adults in Alameda County are immigrants.

Alliance Family Care is a local health coverage product that was developed by a community-based health plan, the Alameda Alliance for Health. The health coverage product was offered to previously uninsured, low-income family members of Medicaid and SCHIP beneficiaries who live in Alameda County. At the time of its introduction, Alliance Family Care was considered unique because of the affordable premiums and the eligibility criteria: both children and adults were eligible, regardless of immigration status. The health coverage product was heavily subsidized by tobacco settlement funds, private foundation funds, and the Alameda Alliance for Health’s own health plan reserve funds.

Now in its fourth year of implementation, this locally-developed, safety net coverage product is experiencing financial strains caused by local and state budgetary deficits. The Alameda Alliance for Health has had to place new applicants on a waiting list and develop new strategies for sustainability. Similarly, other counties throughout California are limiting the enrollment of certain coverage programs and are cutting services in response to losses in revenue.

The leaders of Alameda County's health care safety net--community clinics, public hospitals, health plan, and county government--have been working together closely to ensure that access to care is maintained for the most vulnerable populations in the county.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Immigrants, Access to Care

Related Web page: www.communityvoices.org/Community.aspx?ID=3

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Alameda Alliance for Health's health coverage product, Alliance Family Care
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: partner organization with Alameda Alliance for Health; grantee of W.K. Kellogg Foundation

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Social/Behavior: Improving Access to Care in the Current Political and Economic Environment

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA