Thousands of the north state’s rural poor, including residents of Nevada County, will be able to access medical care in 2012 after more than 30 counties received federal approval and funding to expand their indigent health coverage. The County Medical Services Program, or CMSP, a group of 34 mostly north state counties, received the green light to cover an additional 30,000 uninsured, low-income adults through Path2Health, a new indigent care program that launched Jan. 1. Jeff Brown with the Director of Health and Human services for Nevada County says this expanded program could mean health care for 4 to 5 hundred Nevada County indigent residents. Some 15 thousand residents of the county have no health coverage.
“When we look at the latest statistics on estimates of how many people don’t have health insurance in our county, it’s estimated that upwards of 15,000 single individuals don’t have healthcare.”
Rural administrators in CMSP say the federal matching dollars will help their counties – El Dorado, Nevada, Sutter and Yuba among them – to extend care to more of their neediest residents in Nevada County, Nevada County Executive Officer Richard Haffey says,
“People with no health plan, their only option is to go to the emergency room. In many ways, it’s a preventative situation.”