published on November 7, 2017 - 3:43 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

A new program by Kaiser Permanente will expand health coverage for uninsured, low-income young adults in the Valley who lack access to other coverage.

Kaiser Permanente’s new Community Health Program extends coverage free of charge to Fresno, Madera and Kings County residents who are not eligible for Medi-Cal and can’t afford to purchase individual health insurance.

“This is a vulnerable population with limited means to obtaining coverage,” said Debbie Hemker, RN, Kaiser Permanente Fresno senior vice president and area manager. “We want to expand access to health care in our community, so more residents can receive the care they need to stay healthy.”

The program is open to residents ages 19 through 25 with household incomes up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level (up to $36,180 for a single person or up to $73,800 for a family of four, according to 2017 guidelines). Kaiser Permanente is working with local community organizations and nonprofits to identify residents who may be eligible. Enrollment in the Community Health Program runs from Nov 1. to Jan. 31, 2018.

Kaiser Permanente intends to enroll up to 1,000 residents by the end of 2019.

There is no monthly premium for coverage and young adults in the program will have access to Kaiser Permanente’s integrated health care system and team of care providers. Coverage includes preventative care, medication and vision services. U.S. citizenship is not necessary to be eligible for the program.

“Kaiser Permanente believes that all residents deserve access to high-quality, affordable health care,” Hemker said. “We are pleased to offer this new program and extend coverage to some of the most underserved in our community.”

For more information about eligibility and enrolling in the Community Health Care program call the Kaiser Permanente Member Service Center at 1-800-464-4000 or visit

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