The Department of Public Health (DPH) established the Children’s Health Outreach Initiatives (CHOI) Program in August 1997, to provide a mechanism for reducing the number of uninsured residents through a coordinated outreach effort for the various health coverage programs for low-income children.
Lack of adequate health insurance is most important barrier impacting children's access to health services in Los Angeles County. Children without health insurance are less likely than those who are insured to see a physician for regular care including immunizations and other well-child care services. Uninsured families tend to rely on emergency rooms for their regular source of care and to go without needed medical care for acute and chronic health conditions such as ear infections, throat infections, and asthma.
Increase health access and care for children and their families in Los Angeles County through comprehensive outreach, enrollment, utilization and retention services for Medi-Cal, Healthy Kids, or Covered California and other no or low-cost health coverage and service programs.
What Health Coverage Programs* are Included:
- Healthy Kids,
- Child Health & Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program,
- Aid to Infants & Mothers (AIM),
- Kaiser Permanente Child Health Plan (KPCHP),
- Women Infants and Children (WIC) and
- Referrals to ability-to-pay programs and Healthy Way LA
*Health Coverage Programs are subject to change. Please contact agencies below for an updated list
Because of the numerous programs, all with different eligibility requirements, it is important to inform not only the public about these services but to also train agency staff, who serve low income populations, to become well informed in order to best assist clients
List of CHOI Agency Partners - Assistance for obtaining free or low cost health care (English & Spanish) posted on 07/6/15.
- Routine training of numerous staff, parent volunteers, and community members regarding free and low-cost health coverage programs and services.
- Presenting to several groups including churches, school personnel, community based agencies, childcare providers, parent groups, small businesses, and other sites with potentially eligible persons.
- Participating in outreach events such as health/safety fairs and other community events.
- Making in-person and phone contacts with potentially eligible individuals/families.
- Distributing brochures, mailers, flyers, fact sheets and training materials.
- Working with LAUSD and LACOE to allow for access to school sites for presentations and enrollment activities.
- Disseminating information regarding these programs via newspapers and radio spots/interviews.
- Working with small business to inform employers with low/moderate income workers who are unable to provide insurance to their employers or their families about the availability of low-cost programs. Contractors then give presentations to the employees and enroll eligible family members at the business site.
- Referring individuals that are not eligible for health coverage programs to safety net providers for medical services.
- Providing application assistance to individuals/families.
- Completing enrollment applications for Medi-Cal and other health coverage programs.
Trouble Shooting and Retention/Renewal Services
- Following up with clients to ensure enrollment in the appropriate health coverage programs and assist families to overcome enrollment barriers by troubleshooting problems.
- Follow up with clients to ensure utilization of health services.
- Follow up with clients to assist with renewal forms necessary to retain health coverage.
List of CHOI Agency Partners: To learn how you may qualify with obtaining free/no cost health coverage, contact one of our agency partners (English & Spanish) posted on 7/6/15.
Data Collection, Reporting, and Evaluation
Data from these services is collected and input into a web-based system available to each of the contracted agencies by any computer connected to the internet. The agencies can run data reports that include demographic information from clients assisted. This database system also allows DPH to run up-to-date project reports as needed to be able to provide information in order to evaluate the success of this project.
This project highlights a successful union of County departments working together with trusted local community-based agencies to reach and serve the population of uninsured families in Los Angeles County.
Materials and Training:
Health coverage outreach materials have been developed collaboratively with DPSS and community agencies. The "We’ve Got You Covered" pamphlet was developed to be utilized for consumer education. The full color pamphlet can be ordered through the CHOI office. La Opinion supplements with Medi-Cal applications can also be obtained at the CHOI office.
Anyone interested in learning details regarding various health coverage programs available, either to become an application assistant or for an overview, can call the two agencies in LA County contracted to provide training, as well to review and print the “We’ve Got You Covered” guide see the links provided below:
Maternal & Child Health Access (213) 749-4261 MCHA Web site
Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Web site