The Children's Health Initiative (CHI) of Greater Los Angeles is a public-private coalition seeking to keep kids healthy and ensure that every child has access to health care coverage. The CHI convened in May 2003 by L.A. Care Health Plan, The California Endowment, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. The Coalition is comprised of over 30 organizations including healthcare providers, advocacy groups, foundations, public health officials, labor unions and educators.
The CHI's approach to expanding health care coverage began by seeking to: (1) increase enrollment of children in existing public programs - e.g. Medi-Cal; (2) provide a three-year expansion of the Healthy Kids product to children ages 6-18; and (3) pursue policy solutions to sustain affordable health coverage for children over time. The CHI currently seeks to identify health coverage options for low-income children and families in L.A. County and advocate for policy change to make health coverage available for all L.A. County residents.
Healthy Kids in Los Angeles County began in July 2003 targeting children from birth to age five as a five-year effort funded by First 5 LA, a local commission established by the 1998 Proposition 10 cigarette tax measure. First 5 LA extended funding for enrollment of children from birth to age 5 through 2015.
The Coalition launched a three-year expansion of the Healthy Kids program to children ages 6-18 in April 2004. As with Healthy Kids for children ages 0-5, the coverage program offered low-cost health, dental, and vision coverage to children ineligible for public programs due to family income, or immigration status.
The CHI achieved its three-year expansion of the Healthy Kids 6-18 program and surpassed it. As of March 1, 2013, the Healthy Kids program for children ages 6-18 ended. Over the nine-year period, the CHI raised more than $150 million to cover Healthy Kids 6-18 premiums. These donors include: L.A. Care Health Plan, The California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Centinela Medical Care Fund, QueensCare, Weingart Foundation, the California Community Foundation, the Good Hope Medical Foundation, and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.
The CHI Coalition remains deeply committed to the health and well-being of these young people and have secured commitments from many Healthy Kids network providers as well as community partners to ensure that families will continue to have access to free or low cost health care. The CHI Coalition will also continue to work to identify coverage options for the very vulnerable populations not part of the Federal healthcare expansion under the Affordable Care Act.