California Healthline: L.A. County’s Remaining Uninsured Bound for a Medical Home

by Stephanie Stephens, California Healthline Regional Correspondent

Image from Shutterstock

LOS ANGELES – Even with more than three million Californians newly enrolled in health insurance through Covered California and the expanded Medi-Cal program, the number of people in Los Angeles County who will remain uninsured could be as high as 1.2 million. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.

That’s too many, say advocates who support a system in which everyone — regardless of income, immigration status and other factors — is covered. They say cases like that of Jose Ramirez illustrate the need for 100% coverage.

Ramirez, 27, developed a severe staphylococcus infection in 2013 that resulted in back-to-back brain and heart surgeries at a county safety-net hospital. While Ramirez, an undocumented immigrant, says he is “doing well,” he requires ongoing care. 

Ramirez is expected to be eligible for a “new and improved” version of Healthy Way L.A., a retooled version of the county’s Low-Income Health Program through the county’s Department of Health Services. Re-launching in September, the program follows the Affordable Care Act’s lead and supports the medical home model of patient-centered care.

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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