The Department of Public Health has issued a report regarding San Francisco’s unique Healthy SF Program, and the results are largely positive. The results of the study come on the heels of reports from UC Berkeley and The Kaiser Family Foundation from August, both of which found similar successes in the program.
UC Berkeley discovered that Healthy SF’s employer mandate (which requires all SF employers either pay for private insurance, contribute to a reimbursement account, or pay into the Healthy SF) has not had a negative effect on job creation, but rather San Francisco’s economic growth has remained similar to or higher than any other Bay Area community.
The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 94 percent of program participants were satisfied with the program. A truly astounding figure when you consider that 94 percent of people probably aren’t even happy with being happy.
The most recent survey undertaken by the Department of Public Health found that of the programs 43,500 participants only 363 complained and that 75 percent received some form of primary care.
Where the studies show room for improvement is with regards to educating more people about Healthy San Francisco. Kaiser found that over a fifth of all users were confused about how the program works, and that 30 percent were confused by the costs. The Department of Public Health found that most of the participants have an income at or below 200 percent of the poverty rate, and that few came from the middle class.
So it is important to remind readers that ALL San Francisco residents, regardless of immigration status, employment, or pre-existing conditions qualify for Healthy SF, as long as they meet all the following criteria
-Have an income at or below 500 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($54,150 for single and $110,250 for families)
-A SF resident with proof of residency
-Uninsured for at least 90 days
-Not eligible for other public insurance programs such as Medi-Cal
-Between the ages of 18-64
Consider using the program if you’re eligible, as San Francisco has now become the model for a number of cities nationwide looking for health care guidance (such as New Orleans and Miami).