Case Study — Health

Making sure all kids in California have access to affordable, quality healthcare.

The Project

In the late 1990s, nearly two million of California’s children did not have health insurance. Since then, a number of federal, state, and local initiatives and policy reforms have been implemented to help get California’s kids insured. In the past few years, Children Now and its partners accomplished the major task of securing health coverage for nearly all of California’s 9 million children.

Our Approach

Securing full-scope Medi-Cal coverage and comprehensive benefits package for children, regardless of immigration status.

In 2015, Children Now’s leadership and collaboration with our partners led to a historic victory when Senate Bill 75 (Health4AllKids) passed through the legislative process and expanded health coverage to all income-eligible children in the state, regardless of their immigration status. Eligible undocumented children now qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage and a comprehensive benefits package. The success of Healht4AllKids is thanks in great part to the work done over several years between legislators like Senator Lara and advocacy efforts of The Children’s Partnership, Children Now, Children’s Defense-Fund-CA, United way, local groups like PICO, and a coalition of immigrant rights organizations across the state called Health4All.

More than 200,000 children have enrolled in a health insurance plan and now 98 percent of California kids are covered.

Since implementation of HealthForAllKids in May 2016, the Health4All coalition has partnered with local community based organizations and statewide organizations to maximize outreach, troubleshoot enrolment challenges, and share information about policy, operations and outreach.

In addition to collaborating with local partners, Children Now conducted two surveys of local providers, one in September 2016 and the other in May 2017, to get a sense of progress towards Health4AllKids implementation and barriers in reaching the remaining eligible but unenrolled children. The passing of Health4AllKids made health care coverage a reality for all children in our state. More than 200,000 children have enrolled in a health insurance plan and now 98 percent of California kids are covered.

What’s next?

Children Now, through its coordination of partners and efforts by The Children’s Movement members over the last decade, helped to secure historic health coverage for all income-eligible children regardless of immigration status in California. Now that all children are eligible for health coverage, we must ensure all kids are actually enrolled. We are currently educating policymakers about how to reach the remaining 200,000 uninsured children in California who are eligible for Medi-Cal but are not enrolled, so that all children have a healthy start in life.