Health4All Kids Is Now a Reality in California

by Mayra E. Alvarez

Last week, California demonstrated how it continues to raise the bar for states’ efforts to support new Americans. On May 16, all income-eligible children, regardless of immigration status, were given the opportunity to enroll in full-scope Medi-Cal. In doing so, hundreds of thousands of children were provided new access to important health care services that they need to be healthy. With this coverage, parents have the peace of mind that their children are protected. Families know they can take their children to the doctor, dentist, or any other health care provider they may need to help ensure their well-being. There is hope that all children, no matter where they were born, can lead the healthiest lives possible and reach their full potential.

We at TCP are proud to have been a part of a diverse coalition of advocacy groups, community organizations, foundations, policymakers, providers, and families that banded together and never lost sight of the goal of coverage for all children. Our work together continues as we shift to spreading the word about Health4All Kids and doing all we can to make sure those who are eligible know how and where to enroll and what services are available to assist them. Here are some ways that’s already happening: 

Last week, we celebrated the launch of Health4All Kids with the Health4All coalition at a press conference headlined by legislators, including Speaker Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, Senator Ricardo Lara, Senator Ed Hernandez, Assemblymember Jim Wood, and Assemblymember Tony Thurmond. Together, we celebrated the accomplishment of extending coverage to all children and renewed our commitment to making sure all members of every family can enroll by advocating the passage of SB 10 and SB 1418.Watch the speech and see photos here.

To commemorate the day, our leading ALL IN For Health partner, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, sent a letter to all 2,000county and district superintendents in the state to encourage schools across California to spread the word about the new opportunity. Schools are trusted messengers for many communities and play a critical role in helping reach families with news about the Medi-Cal expansion. Schools can make calls to families using a script or send home a flyer, available in the ALL IN For Health toolkit.

The California Endowment partnered with Telemundo 52 for a special segment to educate Spanish-speaking communities about what the Medi-Cal expansion means for immigrant families. We were proud to be a part of the segment and invite you to share it with families you think would be interested in learning more. Watch the clip.

If you or someone you know needs more information about the Medi-Cal expansion, we encourage you to visit the Health4All Kids website (http://health4allkids.org/). The website serves as a central resource for information for families and community organizations looking to learn more about the new benefits. The site will continue to serve as a resource with recordings of informational webinars and a toolkit, as well as new tools and updates as they become available.

While we celebrate this important victory, we know our work is not over. In the next year, we will be partnering with community groups across the state to make sure implementation runs smoothly and all families know how to enroll. Once enrolled, it is our collective responsibility to make sure families can navigate the health care system that is newly available to their children. And while we make sure kids can get and use their new health care, we will continue to work to ensure that every Californian, including the parents of these newly eligible children, has access to coverage.

I am so proud to be in a state that takes care of all its children and is leading the way on welcoming our immigrant communities. Let’s continue on this path and make sure the opportunity for quality, affordable coverage is realized for all of our families.

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