Healthy Way LA: No-Cost Health Coverage
Cheri Todoroff from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services talks about changes to the Healthy Way LA health program, eligibility, and enrollment.
Healthy Way LA is a no-cost health coverage program for uninsured Los Angeles County residents between the ages of 19 and 64. Healthy Way LA is operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) and is part of the Low Income Health Program under the California Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver, also known as “California’s Bridge to Reform.” With Healthy Way LA, patients can choose a permanent medical home at one of more than 100 clinic sites.
The original Healthy Way LA program began in September 2007 but under the new 1115 Waiver the current Healthy Way LA program with additional benefits commenced on July 1, 2011. DHS, Community Partners, and the Department of Mental Health are working together to enroll all eligible patients into Healthy Way LA. DHS is reaching out to homeless service providers to spread the word about Healthy Way LA. DHS recently provided training to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) outreach staff and winter shelter providers on how they can assist homeless clients with Healthy Way LA enrollment and linkage to a medical home.
With Healthy Way LA patients have a medical home. Their care is provided and coordinated by a multi-disciplinary team that includes a primary care provider, nurse, care manager and others. The team is responsible for providing preventive services, along with the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. The medical home team works with the patient, specialists, family members and care-givers, and other service providers to meet the needs of the patient. By seeing the same medical home team at each visit the patients and the team really get to know each other.
Who is eligible?
Individuals may be eligible for Healthy Way LA if they meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Residency: Los Angeles County
- Age: Adult, 19 to 64 years of age
- Citizenship: U.S. Citizen/National or Legal Permanent Resident of 5 + years
- Income: Monthly income limit ($1,207 or less for a family of one)
- Pregnancy: Not pregnant or eligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families
What are some of the Healthy Way LA benefits?
Healthy Way LA covers both outpatient and inpatient services. Members receive many other benefits including:
- Primary care by appointment
- Access to in-house pharmacies to fill prescriptions
- Assigned “Medical Home” at a location chosen by the member
- Preventive care and mental health services
- Access to specialists
- Care management services for chronic illnesses like congestive heart failure and diabetes
- Urgent and emergency medical care coverage
- 24/7 nurse advice line
- Translation services
How does one enroll in Healthy Way LA?
Individuals who are currently going to a DHS or a Community Partner clinic, can enroll at that location. Individuals who have never been to a DHS or Community Partner clinic can call for an appointment to enroll at one of the six Healthy Way LA enrollment locations.
DHS, Community Partners, and Department of Mental Health clinics understand that some patients, including homeless patients, may need additional assistance to navigate the enrollment process. Assistance is available to complete the application and obtain the documents that are required as part of the application process.
Since July 1, 2011, over 40,000 new members have enrolled and total enrollment in Healthy Way LA has now reached 100,000 members. Additional information on Healthy Way LA can be found at www.ladhs.org/hwla or by calling 1- 877-333-HWLA.