By ANRICA DEB
San Francisco’s one-of-a-kind city health care program will be broadened on Tuesday to include individuals making up to five times the national poverty level. Currently the city extends care to residents earning three times the poverty level, or up to $2,601 per month. The new extension will include residents earning up to $4335 per month.
Healthy San Francisco provides uninsured city residents – and non-residents who work for businesses of 20 employees or more within San Francisco – with most standard health care services for modest or even no cost, depending on income level. A person earning $2,601 per month would be expected to pay $150 quarterly, plus any co-payments allotted by the care provider.
To be eligible for the landmark program, residents older than 18 and under 65 need only some form of ID and proof of city residency and income. A recent phone-based study of the state by the California Health Interview Survey determined that in 2007 roughly 60,000 San Franciscans did not have health insurance. Healthy San Francisco is not health insurance, as it does not extend beyond the city limits, but the program endeavors to ensure city residents always have access to health care.
Currently nearly 35,000 residents are enrolled in the program, with 12 percent coming from Inner Mission or Bernal Heights. The new eligibility requirements will be publicized on the program website on Tuesday, according to program spokesman Bob Menezes.
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