healthysf.jpgThe 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).

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  • bigbigbing

    I think the reason that there are not many complaints is that no-one can ever reach Healthy San Francisco. I cannnot make an appointment, can’t even get anyone to answer the phone or call me back at my “medical home”; I didn’t get my first appointment for five months. I think it’s a great, ambitious idea, but it needs a lot more resources to run it.

  • Tim Ehhalt

    I’ve been on Healthy SF since February of this year and I have a lot of good things to say about it. Unfortunately my two complaints are yours as well. Tough to get people on the phone and looooong waits for appointments (5 months for one of them). My tip for you is to call regularly, like everyday, at the same time and see if there are any cancellations. That’s how I got appts. moved closer. But my biggest complaint is the disconnect between HSF and SF General. One didn’t know what the other was doing and I was dropped from HSF once for no reason. I did get a call and apology from them, like a day later. But it was kind of a hassle.

  • Irina Slutsky

    i love healthy SF and have been on it since the first day it was available. it can be difficult to get someone on the phone, but i have never waited more than 1 month for an appointment. i chose potrero hill as my clinic and often just stop by there to get an appointment. it is VERY true that almost no one in the city knows anything about it. since i am very poor right now, i get all my meds, appointments and even the program for free. incredible.

  • Tim Ehhalt

    True. The free part is very cool. And the and the Doctors and Nurse Practitioners have been unbelievably cool and helpful. I myself am at Maxine Hall. Dr. Ann Kim may be the best GP I’ve ever had.