195498 Progress in Covering Los Angeles County's Most Vulnerable Children: The Rollout of the Healthy Kids Program

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Genevieve Kenney, PhD , The Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Joshua McFeeters , The Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Bogdan Tereshchenko , The Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Sarah Benatar, PhD , The Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Objectives: This work examines changes in coverage patterns among children in L.A. County before and after rollout of the L.A. Healthy Kids program. Healthy Kids aims to cover uninsured children in families with incomes below 300% FPL who do not qualify for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families. Prior analyses show that Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, and Healthy Kids have the potential to substantially reduce the share of uninsured children in L.A. by targeting those who are disproportionately more likely to be uninsured.

Methods: Using data from the L.A. County Health Survey we compare coverage patterns prior to the introduction of Healthy Kids with coverage patterns two years after implementation.

Findings: The share of children in L.A. without insurance declined from 10.1% to 8.3% following rollout of Healthy Kids. Significant decreases occurred among Latino children, non-citizen children, and children living in poverty. Uninsurance also decreased among children with a parent who was foreign-born, did not complete high school, or was not interviewed in English. Most parents reported awareness of at least one public insurance program, and expressed willingness to enroll. Citizen parents were significantly more aware of public insurance programs than non-citizen parents.

Conclusions: L.A. has made progress in covering vulnerable children. Significant disparities remain among immigrant groups, however, indicating that many children miss out on services that promote their health and development.

Implications: These results suggest that the county's Healthy Kids program is helping to raise insurance coverage for the children they are targeting, and for whom coverage has historically been lowest.

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess impacts of the L.A. Healthy Kids Program on insurance rates in L.A. County 2. Evaluate the role of public coverage programs in vulnerable populations

Keywords: Vulnerable Populations, Health Insurance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Public Policy. I conduct research on the health coverage of vulnerable populations at the Urban Institute.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.