California Healthline: Landmark Healthy San Francisco Remains Safety Net During Transition Period

by Heather Mack, California Healthline Contributing Reporter

By many accounts, Healthy San Francisco — the city’s landmark universal health care plan launched in 2007 — has been a success. Uninsured residents in one of the world’s most expensive cities finally had access to affordable, quality health care.

While the Affordable Care Act opened up the possibility that some of the 60,000 San Francisco residents participating in the program could obtain insurance, coverage remains out of reach for others, despite the availability of federal subsidies. To the relief of many, Healthy San Francisco will continue to operate for uninsured individuals who do not qualify for Medi-Cal or Covered California, such as undocumented immigrants. But the days of anyone signing up for Healthy San Francisco and eschewing insurance are over. As the end of 2014 approaches, tens of thousands of current Healthy San Francisco program participants are expected to remain uninsured, and the city is scrambling to create a plan to make federally required insurance affordable for them.

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