Keeping Kids Healthy in an Ailing Economy
In northern California’s Sonoma County, Lance and Laura Gates, like thousands of other families throughout the nation, faced the prospect of raising a family without the benefit of health insurance. Lance, who completed his military tour in Iraq in 2008, lost his coverage through the Marines the day he left active duty. Though they couldn’t afford to extend their military insurance, they still didn’t qualify for the state’s Healthy Families program. Their chief concern was finding care for their two-year-old son, Brody.
That’s when they discovered Kaiser Permanente’s Child Health Plan, for which the family now pays $15 dollars a month for full medical and dental coverage for Brody. They pay a $5 co-payment for medical office visits, with no charge for immunizations or inpatient hospital care.
Brody is not alone. As of early 2010, there were 78,000 children enrolled in KP Child Health Plan statewide. Thousands more were enrolled in similar programs, known collectively as Charitable Health Coverage programs, across all Kaiser Permanente communities.