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Healthy San Francisco Enrollees Express High Levels of Satisfaction With City's Health Access Program and Survey Shows Signs of Improved Access to Care
Date:8/26/2009

Challenges Remain as One Quarter of Enrollees Say They Delayed or Skipped Care or Medication Since Joining the Program

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As states and cities struggle with the economic recession and possible fiscal pressure on public health care programs, a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey of enrollees in Healthy San Francisco (HSF), the city's health care access program for the uninsured, reports high rates of satisfaction and signs that the program has improved access to care for those uninsured residents who have enrolled.

In 2006, San Francisco created a unique health access program to provide access to affordable basic and ongoing health care services for its uninsured residents at participating clinics and hospitals. All uninsured city residents not eligible for other public coverage programs are eligible to enroll. As of August 2009, more than 45,000 people had enrolled in the program.

The report is based on a March 2009 independent survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation researchers to gauge the opinions and experiences of HSF's first wave of participants, the vast majority of whom have incomes below the federal poverty line. Participants report high levels of satisfaction (94% are at least somewhat satisfied with the program) and endorsement of HSF (92% would recommend to a friend and the same share think other cities should create similar programs).

The survey also reveals some reported improvements in access and costs for participants. Four in ten enrollees (41%) report improvements in how well their health needs are being met under HSF compared to before the program existed. More than four in ten enrollees (44%) report paying less for health care than before they joined the program, including about a third (32%) who say they are paying a lot less. On t
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SOURCE Henry J. Kaiser Foundation
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