The David Lucile & Packard Foundation
Study Shows “Healthy Kids” Closes Gap in Health Care for Children

Why Healthy Kids Was Created – And Why It Matters For Children in California

Healthy Kids fills a crucial health insurance gap for children: Many children in low income and working families (earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty — $58,000 per year for a family of four) lack access to affordable employer-sponsored insurance and are not eligible for public coverage via Medi-Cal and Healthy Families due to their immigration status or because their family income is too high. Healthy Kids fills that gap. Since 2001, nearly 30,000 Santa Clara County children have been enrolled in Healthy Kids.
Santa Clara started a movement toward health insurance for all kids: Following Santa Clara County’s lead, nine other California counties are running similar programs, with more than 71,000 children enrolled today. This figure is expected to grow, as 18 more counties in the process of developing their own Healthy Kids programs start enrolling children.

The Findings – Healthy Kids is Working

Kids see a regular doctor: Healthy Kids nearly doubles, from 50% to 89%, the proportion of children with a regular place to go for their health care.

Unmet needs plummet: Healthy Kids cuts by more than half, from 22% to 10%, the proportion of children who needed physician care in the prior six months and did not get it.

Parents are confident: Healthy Kids nearly doubles, from 43% to 75%, the proportion of parents who are very confident they can get care for their child when needed.

Dental care jumps: Healthy Kids almost triples the proportion of children who had a cavity filled or tooth pulled (from 15% to 44%), as well as the proportion of children who had a preventive dental visit in the prior six months (from 23% to 61%).

Who Is Enrolled in Santa Clara’s “Healthy Kids”?
Children In Working Families, Rooted In The Community & Uninsured

Three out of four Healthy Kids children are from two-parent working families.

More than 90% of Healthy Kids children live in a household with a parent who is working.

43% come from families living in Santa Clara County for more than three years.

63% of Healthy Kids children had no health insurance coverage during the six months before enrolling. 45% never had health insurance coverage before.

The Benefits for Children in Santa Clara County and the State

Better access to medical care: Children receive needed medical care on a timely basis.
Improved dental health: Children receiving regular dental care avoid deterioration in dental health, a significant source of pain, discomfort, and missed school days.
Increased enrollment in all programs: Santa Clara County enrolled 28 percent more children in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families in part because Healthy Kids fills in the largest gap in coverage for children in working families.

Healthy Kids was launched in January 2001 by the Santa Clara County Children’s Health Initiative ( The study was funded by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, with subcontractors at the Urban Institute and the University of California, San Francisco. For more information on the study, see

Category: Health Insurance for Children


Health Insurance for Children in Santa Clara County