No-Cost Health Coverage Coming for Poor County Residents



Starting on Jan. 1, many indigent county residents can apply for a program that will cover their primary health care, emergency and hospital care, pharmacy services, and limited dental and vision care at no cost. It will also cover a set number of mental health and substance abuse counseling visits, among other services.

Path2Health, as the program is called, will cover this care for residents who live at or below the federal poverty level -- roughly $10,890 per year for an individual -- in Humboldt and 33 other California counties. A few other requirements: To qualify you must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 19 and 64 who does not qualify for Medi-Cal. Lots more info can be found on the program website.

Path2Health, which has been described as a pilot program for federal health care reform, will be administered through the County Medical Services Program (CMSP) Governing Board. That agency announced yesterday that it had been notified of federal approval.

"Path2Health will provide many low income adults in these counties with needed health coverage," CMSP Governing Board Executive Director Lee Kemper said in a press release. "Others will benefit in 2014 when the federal Medicaid program is expanded by federal reform." 

You can see a full list of what's covered through the program here. Local residents will need to submit an application at the county's social services department, located at 929 Koster Street in Eureka. (Phone number: 269-3590.)

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