Eighteen years ago, the community of Glendale recognized a need: There were children who had no insurance and parents who had no means to provide medical or dental care.
So the “virtual clinic” of Glendale Healthy Kids was created, and annually has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of services, and kept a yearly average of 35 kids out of costly emergency rooms. With no government funding, and providers who generously donate most services in their offices, we have provided help that allowed kids to return to school quickly and parents back to work.
And the federal health-care bill was to take care of every parent having health insurance. Hence, no more need for our program — right!
Unfortunately, there are still kids without health insurance — 9.6% at last count. And that doesn't include those who have emergency only Medi-Cal (you know, the one that pays for emergency room casting of a broken limb, but not removal of the cast.)
And more and more, parents with insurance, but still qualifying as low income, are coming to Glendale Healthy Kids for help. Why? Wasn't this bill supposed to ensure all kids had coverage?
Well, employers may provide coverage, but with plans that include high copays and deductibles — $200 for an eye exam and glasses as an example — or dental insurance which requires a $50 copay for an office visit, there are still kids who need help.
Recently, we worked with a parent who when employed has insurance. But he has been put on part-time status, hence, no insurance. And the child had a serious infection.
Thanks to all of our generous medical and dental providers who work tirelessly to make sure kids get healthy, and to the community who continues to support us!
Mark your calendars for May 9 and support Glendale Healthy Kids by attending the Annual Taste of Downtown Glendale.
Editor’s note: Levee is chief executive of Glendale Healthy Kids.