California is rolling out a new health care program to aid residents of rural counties with medical costs this year. Photo courtesy Metrocreativegraphics.com
Inyo County is one of 34 California counties slated to receive early federal medical relief.
The County Medical Services Program Governing Board announced recently that it will expand health care coverage to an additional 30,000 low-income adults living in 34, mostly rural counties beginning Jan. 1 under the new Path2Health program.
According to a press release, this coverage expansion â just approved by the federal government â will increase the number of low-income adults served by Governing Board programs to nearly 90,000 by the end of 2013. The coverage expansion is made possible by the State of Californiaâs Federal Medicaid âBridge to Reformâ Waiver.
Path2Health will operate as a two-year pilot project until the federal Accountable Care Act expands Medicaid for single low-income adults in 2014. Path2Health will expand no-cost health care coverage in Inyo County and 33 other rural counties to uninsured, low-income adults with incomes up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level â or about $10,890 annually for a single person.
The coverage expansion is made possible by county and federal funds, which will be supporting the program.
âThe federal waiver makes it possible to bring the benefits of federal health reform early to many of Californiaâs rural communities,â said Lee Kemper, executive director of the CMSP Governing Board.
Implementation in the 34 mostly rural counties follows Path2Health being introduced in 10 mostly urban California counties this past summer.
âPath2Healthâs 34 counties represent regions with some of the highest levels of poverty and uninsurance in the state,â Kemper said. âPath2Health will provide many low-income adults in these counties with needed health coverage. Others will benefit in 2014 when the federal Medicaid program is expanded by federal reform.â
The program provides coverage for medically necessary health care services, including primary care, emergency and hospital care, pharmacy services, and limited dental and vision care. It will also cover a set number of mental health and substance abuse counseling visits. Coverage will generally follow coverage provided under CMSP, a long-standing health coverage program serving indigent adults in the 34 counties. The program currently serves more than 60,000 low-income adults each month.
For more information about Path2Health visit http://mypath2health.org.