February 9, 2001

First Lady Sharon Davis Unveils New Ad Campaign for Healthy Families and Medi-Cal For Children

Los Angeles — California's First Lady Sharon Davis today unveiled the latest phase of statewide advertising campaign aimed at increasing the enrollment of children in California's public health insurance programs. The ads promote the low-cost Healthy Families Program and free Medi-Cal for Children, which provide health coverage to low-income, working families.

First Lady Sharon Davis meets with students from Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles where she stressed the importance of regular medical care.

"Healthy children are more attentive and motivated, do better in school and are less likely to develop acute illnesses and health-related problems," Mrs. Davis said. "This advertising campaign was developed to inform eligible families of comprehensive health care options and to demonstrate how easy it is for parents to enroll their kids by emphasizing free application assistance, in-language services and the short mail-in application," said Mrs. Davis, who is the spokesperson for the Healthy Families Program.

"Many families are either unaware of these programs or have been deterred from applying," continued Mrs. Davis, explaining the need for the aggressive advertising campaign.

The ads are designed to appeal to California's culturally diverse population, educate eligible families about the availability of low-cost and no-cost insurance programs and communicate the ease and benefits of applying.

The Healthy Families Program provides low-cost health insurance to children up to age 19 whose families are not eligible for free Medi-Cal coverage and who are not covered by an employer-based health insurance plan. Monthly Healthy Families premiums range from $4 to $9 per child per month, to a maximum of $27 for all children in a family, depending upon family size, income and the health plan selected. Medi-Cal for Children is free to qualifying families who earn less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

Since Governor Gray Davis took office, some 325,000 eligible children have been enrolled in the Healthy Families Program, bringing the total to nearly 375,000 children. The Davis Administration has implemented an aggressive outreach campaign to ensure that eligible families receive the assistance they need in applying for the programs. The outreach program today includes nearly 3,600 community-based organizations and groups that enroll children into the Healthy Families and Medi-Cal for Children programs. More than 21,000 certified application assistants have been trained to help families complete applications for the programs.

Underscoring the ongoing success of Governor Davis' aggressive education and outreach efforts are the more than 800,000 phone calls that have been made to the program's primary toll-free information and referral line (1-888-747-1222).

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