With an estimated 400,000 people in Los Angeles County unable to qualify for health coverage under the federal; Affordable Care Act, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center have moved to provide free health care for those still in need.
The My Health LA program, which launches October 1, is a no-cost health care program through 164 community partner clinics for low-income residents of Los Angeles County who do not have health insurance. The program, which received $61,000 in funding from Los Angeles County, has evolved from a two decade-long partnership between LA County and local community clinics and health centers. Patients will receive primary care services at clinics, such as health screenings, physicals, chronic disease management, and prescription medications. Specialty care and more acute services will be provided by LA County’s Department of Health Services.
“My Health LA demonstrates the commitment of Los Angeles County to expand health coverage to the uninsured and to ensure access to care for the most vulnerable among us,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Every person living in Los Angeles deserves access to health care and we will not stop until this is achieved. We need health care for all.”
By giving access to medical care for all residents, patients can treat their symptoms early on in their illness and avoid much more expensive emergency care later on. In addition, diagnosing certain contagious illnesses at their onset is increasingly important to contain them quickly.
Since January, hundreds of thousands of people in California have enrolled in the Affordable Care Act. In addition, free medical, dental and vision services recently were made available to thousands through the fifth annual Care Harbor Free Clinic.
St. John’s Chief Executive Jim Mangia noted that the center, which offers primary care services and supportive services to address families’ educational, socio-economic, and mental health needs, will not turn anyone away.
Sister Dolores Riojas of St. Thomas Church in Los Angeles said many of her parishioners were lacking in healthcare.
“We thank Supervisor Ridley-Thomas for the leadership he has provided in helping working families,” she said. “Now they will be getting treated early on.”
Click here to find a clinic near you. Participants should call the clinic to make an appointment to enroll and to make sure the clinic is taking new patients.