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Medi-Cal Has Solano Covered

Laura Sheckler, Community Affairs Manager at the Community Clinic Consortium, writes about the importance of Medi-Cal in our Solano County community. A significant part of how residents access health care services is through Medi-Cal, which provides low-cost, or no-cost health insurance for more than 13 million Californians. This includes low-income families, children, pregnant women, seniors and people living with disabilities.

“Medi-Cal is available to provide health coverage to the people who need it most, when they need it most,” she writes.

Read the full article in the Daily Republic here.

Opinion: Expanding Contra Costa jail is a flawed policy

Alvaro Fuentes, Executive Director of the Community Clinic Consortium, writes about the concerns of community leaders and health care providers in a recent Op-Ed about the West Contra Costa County jail expansion.

“As health care providers and community leaders, we understand the need to provide humane conditions for individuals who are incarcerated. However, we believe it is more prudent to invest in community-based efforts to improve the health and wellness of all residents, not $25 million in construction and more than $5 million annually for running a massive new jail facility,” he writes.

Read the full Op-Ed here.

Health Centers Lower Cost of Children’s Care by 35 Percent

Doctor examining little boy

Community health centers lower the cost of children’s primary care by 35%, compared to other providers. Health centers are reducing overall costs, while providing comprehensive, high-quality care. Money is saved, in part, by offering a broad range of outpatient services under one roof or in one visit – thus decreasing fragmentation of care.

The full report, “Community Health Centers Reduce the Costs of Children’s Health Care,” can be accessed here.


Contra Costa Health Care Town Hall

Health Care TownHall - Jan 28

Join the dialogue on how together, we will strive to Preserve Health Care for All

There is a statewide movement to resist efforts to dismantle our health care systems. Come and learn how we will be a part of this statewide movement to ensure that all residents have life-saving and quality health care.

Speakers include: Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Congressman George Miller (Ret.)

When: January 28, 2017; 10:30am-12:00pm

Where: First Christian Church of Concord (3039 Willow Pass Rd, Concord CA 94519)

See the event flyer here

Dramatic Expansions in California’s County Health Care Safety-Net Detailed in Health Access Report

A new report from Health Access, “Profiles of Progress: California Counties Taking Steps to a More Inclusive and Smarter Safety-Net,” details dramatic changes to California’s health care safety net programs at the county level. While the Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage options, counties have been left to figure out how to provide care for the remaining uninsured, including undocumented individuals who are excluded from federal help. Counties have responded in various ways, from providing new benefits to those already covered to expanding coverage options to undocumented individuals.

CLICK HERE to view the full report.


California counties add health care for immigrant adults

Jane-UndocumentedCalifornia’s Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco, voted Tuesday to restore primary health care services to undocumented adults living in the county.

Contra Costa County joins 46 other California counties that have agreed to provide non-emergency care to immigrants who entered the country illegally.

“Providing health care coverage to all is not only about the human morality issue that we should address, but also from a cost-effective point of view … this is absolutely the right thing,” said Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clínica de la Raza, which serves 25,000 patients in Contra Costa, many of them low-income Latinos.

Adult immigrants who are undocumented are not able to participate state health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, but can get emergency care in hospitals.

The program is not full scope insurance, but will provide preventive care. Health care providers and other supporters say that increasing access to preventive services will cut down visits to the emergency room and save the county money in the long run.

CLICK HERE to read the full story

Solano Coalition for Better Health: Access to Care for All

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By Jennifer E. Arevalo Ruiz, Community Clinic Consortium

Since the Affordable Care Act was signed in March of 2010, more than 4 million Californians have gained access to health insurance. Individuals and families can now stay on their parents’ private employer sponsored health insurance up to the age of 26, preventative health care services are free of cost, and individuals with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health insurance.

According to Covered California, during the second enrollment period, the nine greater Bay Area counties — including Solano County — enrolled 93,592 individuals. This is a very exciting time for those eligible to apply for health insurance! Unfortunately, there are an estimated 3 million individuals in California who will remain uninsured after full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2019. About half of the individuals who will lack insurance will be eligible for state funded Medi-Cal or subsidized insurance through California’s Health Exchange, Covered CA.

Many of these folks who will remain uninsured may experience difficulties in enrolling that prevent them from getting coverage. Some may also still find it unaffordable to enroll, even with access to subsidized coverage. And others will have immigration concerns that inhibit them from enrolling themselves or their eligible family members. In California, there are approximately 125,000 young adult immigrants who are eligible for full scope Medi-Cal but may be unaware of their eligibility or are concerned that getting Medi-Cal will harm their immigration status in the future.

The other half of remaining uninsured Californians will continue to lack insurance because they are explicitly excluded due to their immigration status. Not only does excluding this population from access to health insurance have negative health and financial impacts on individuals and their families, but it also has a seriously negative impact on California’s economy. In 2009, according to the Center for American Progress, denying health insurance to this population cost California upwards of $20 billion in lost productivity alone.

Currently, there are two policy efforts at the federal and state level that can help this population gain health insurance access. The first is President Obama’s Executive Order, which provides Deferred Action status to an expanded population of Childhood Arrivals and to parents of citizen and/or permanent legal resident children. Though this executive order is currently being challenged in the courts, should it be implemented, up to half a million Californians could gain access to state funded Medi-Cal, according to a policy brief by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The second policy effort is a California State Legislative bill called SB 4, a bill that many are calling the Health for All bill. This bill proposes to include children who remain uninsured due to their immigration status into Medi-Cal, assuming they would be otherwise eligible using existing income qualifications.

While we don’t yet know how these policy efforts will turn out, it is important that we encourage those who are already eligible for health coverage to enroll in the opportunities available to them. These efforts will ultimately help us get closer to living in a state where everyone has access to the health insurance they need to keep themselves and our communities healthy.

Jennifer Arevalo is the Community Affairs Manager at the Community Clinic Consortium, a member of Solano Coalition for Better Health.

Contra Costa County Expands Access to Healthcare for Undocumented Adults

September 22, 2015

CCCares[Martinez, CA] – The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved a plan today in a 4-1 vote to expand access to healthcare for residents regardless of immigration status. The decision comes six years after the Board voted to bar undocumented adults from participating in the County’s Basic Health Care Plan.

“Today was a huge victory in bridging the gap of health equity in Contra Costa County.  The Contra Costa CARES program demonstrates the commitment of our elected officials and healthcare leaders to work together for the benefit of everyone in this county,” said Alvaro Fuentes, Executive Director of the Community Clinic Consortium representing community health centers in Contra Costa County. “The vote today echoes the voices of thousands of individuals – locally and statewide – committed to improving the health of their communities by ensuring that everyone has access to quality and affordable health care.”

The approved plan will allocate $500,000 in County funding toward the program. Led by the Consortium, a diverse set of public and private health systems stakeholders developed the program to help meet the healthcare needs of those not covered by the Affordable Care Act. Several local partners who participated in the development of Contra Costa CARES are anticipated to match the County’s contribution. As a result, the program is expected to be implemented with a total of $1,000,000 to serve approximately 3,000 residents. Meanwhile, estimates from the UC Berkeley Labor Center show that in Contra Costa County the undocumented population may be closer to 19,000.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors’ decision comes on the heels of Monterey County’s expansion of healthcare access for undocumented residents. This year, 35 rural counties in California and Sacramento County also expanded access to healthcare for undocumented adults and expansion of Medi-Cal access to undocumented children in the state was approved in the Governor’s budget. Contra Costa represents the 47th county in the state to provide access to healthcare for its undocumented adult population. 

National Health Center Week Has Officially Begun!

NationalHealthCenterWeekPresident Barack Obama has officially Proclaimed August 9th- 15th National Health Center Week, 2015! Check out the official White House Proclamation and be sure to send us your state and local #NHCW15 Proclamations for us to share and post on the HCW website!

We are also pleased to share brand new Health Center data and NHCW infographics created by the NACHC research team. Check out these great new resources and take advantage of the custom Health Center infographic tool to customize a #NHCW15 infographic for your Health Center!

Help us spread the word about NHCW on social media: Use the hashtag #NHCW15 to let everyone know how you are celebrating this year! Help spread the word and make Health Center Week the biggest and best yet! Check out our #NHCW15 social media post guide for sample posts! Helpful tip: use social media to thank your elected officials for their support by tagging and communicating with them directly! Don’t be shy, ask elected officials to post about National Health Center Week on their social media pages using the hashtag #NHCW15.

After lots of planning and hard work, National Health Center Week 2015 (August 9-15) has finally arrived and it is time to celebrate! At thousands of events and in hundreds of ways across the country, Health Center staff, board members, patients, community leaders, and other Health Center advocates are celebrating the great work that Health Centers do in bringing high-quality, cost effective, and accessible care to millions of patients.

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Week of Celebrations – Happy National Health Center Week 2015!

CLICK HERE to watch the video “Health Centers: Paving the Road to Good Health

Two Deals Boosting Healthcare to Immigrants Illegally in U.S. are OK’d in Sacramento


As Gov. Jerry Brown struck a budget deal Tuesday that would offer healthcare to children in the country illegally, Sacramento County supervisors — sitting less than a mile away — also agreed to provide medical care for county residents who lack papers.

The Sacramento Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan that includes $5.2 million to pay for primary care and some specialty care for undocumented adults. Officials estimate it will fund care for up to 3,000 of the county’s 50,000 immigrants.

CLICK HERE to read the full story

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