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Undocumented Children To Have Access To Health Care

http://www.vidaenelvalle.com/news/state/california/fresno/article77317427.html

State Sen. Ricardo Lara’s Health for All Kids Road to Enrollment Tour will stop in Fresno to promote the Medi-Cal expansion to all low-income children regardless of immigration status.

Starting May 16, all low-income, undocumented residents under 19 years old will obtain access to health care by enrolling in full-scope Medi-Cal.

The tour, which will make several stops throughout the state, starts May 12 in San Francisco at Mission Neighborhood Health Center. It will stop on May 13 in Los Ángeles at the Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center and San Diego at the San Ysidro Health Center; on May 14 in Coachella at Clínicas de Salud del Pueblo and Orange County at AltaMed Health Services. The tour will stop on May 16 in Sacramento at the state Capitol, and in Fresno at Clínica Sierra Vista on Elm Avenue.

Last year, the state expanded full-scope Medi-Cal, which includes preventive care and routine medical visits to cover all lower-income children under 19 years old regardless of their immigration status.

Approximately 170,000 undocumented children will gain access to health coverage. California became the state with the largest immigrant population to provide health care coverage to low-income undocumented children.

Health advocates – including health centers and nonprofit organizations in the state and the Valley – have been encouraging parent of low-income undocumented children who would benefit from the Medi-Cal expansion to get ready for the expansion if they currently don’t have restricted-scope Medi-Cal also known as emergency Medi-Cal for their children.

According to the Department of Health Care Services, of the 170,000 estimated eligible children for full-scope Medi-Cal, approximately 114,981 are already enrolled in restricted-scope Medi-Cal benefits. The remaining 55,019 undocumented immigrant children don’t receive any Medi-Cal benefits. DHCS estimates that 50 percent of those undocumented children who don’t receive any Medi-Cal benefit will get enrolled in coverage over a 12-month period, once the program is operational.

Health advocates estimate that approximately 34,000 low-income undocumented children from Sacramento to Kern counties would gain access to full-scope Medi-Cal.

Throughout April, United Health Centers of the San Joaquín Valley provided informative workshops in Spanish in Mendota, Huron, Earlimart, Orange Cove and Parlier to educate the Spanish-speaking community of the Valley about the Medi-Cal expansion for low-income undocumented children. Immigration attorneys were on site to answer question from the public about concerns or fears about enrolling undocumented children in health benefit and how it could affect their immigration status.

A new health4all kids online toolkit was unveiled on April 20 statewide to educate and provide key facts about the health for all kids’ expansion. The www.health4allkids.org website includes basic information and frequently asked question about the health4all kid Medi-Cal expansion in English and Spanish.

The Health for All event in Fresno on Monday, May 16 will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m at Clínica’s dental clinic located on 2756 S Elm Ave in Fresno.

Clinica Sierra Vista, which operates federally qualified health centers in Bakersfield and Fresno will co-host the Health for All enrollment event with the Building Healthy Communities Initiative and Lara’s office.

The Clinica Sierra Vista will be hosting community forums to continue enrolling children and to provide a place for residents to ask questions.

Advocates reminds parents families don’t have to wait for May 16 to enroll their children in full-scope Medical and should enroll them now in restricted Medi-Cal to make the transition to full-scope Medi-Cal easier once it goes live next week.

Details: www.health4allkids.org or call (855) 899-7587.