Los Angeles County is home to more than 10 million people, many of whom do not have access to or the ability to pay for medical, health and personal safety services. The resources listed in this blog provide a variety of services to meet the needs of all L.A. County citizens, regardless of their medical insurance or economic status.
Insurance Advocacy and Access
Paying for medical insurance and gaining access to health care services can be a challenge for many Los Angelinos. The following agencies provide the resources and information to ensure no one goes without the care they need.
Buying health care insurance through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) can be a complex and frustrating experience. Covered California helps Californians find and purchase health insurance from leading carriers. It also helps them learn whether they qualify for federal premium subsidies on a health plan through Covered California, or can get health insurance through the state’s Medi-Cal program. Sponsored in conjunction with the Department of Health Care Services, Covered California is the place to go to find the right health care coverage for you.
Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP)
Offered by California Health Advocates, a nonprofit organization focused on Medicare advocacy and education, HICAP provides free and objective information and counseling about Medicare. A great resource for individuals and groups that need help understanding their rights and health care options. HICAP offers free educational seminars to groups of Medicare beneficiaries and their families and/or providers on a variety of Medicare and other health insurance topics.
Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program serving low-income individuals ranging from families, seniors and people with disabilities to foster care children, pregnant women and childless adults significantly below 138% of the federal poverty level. The California Department of Health Care Services provides an informative resource page for Medi-Cal eligible individuals and families to learn about coverage, enrollment, benefits and other Medi-Cal programs.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, HRSA works to improve access to health care services for people who are uninsured, geographically isolated or medically vulnerable. HRSA helps those in need of primary health care, people living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women and mothers, and supports the training and distribution of health professionals to areas where they are needed the most.
Community and State Assistance
Families in Los Angeles County need more than just medical care. These local and state agencies provide a range of services to promote the health and wellbeing of everyone.
L.A. County Department of Public Health
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health works to protect health, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being for everyone in L.A. County. The Department operates 14 Public Health Centers located throughout county, all of which provide free and/or low-cost services to residents and visitors with no insurance or regular health care providers. Their services include immunizations and communicable disease testing and treatment.
L.A. County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS)
WDACS strives to connect communities and improve the lives of all generations in Los Angeles County through partnership-driven services and initiatives that:
- Connect individuals to careers and employers to a skilled workforce
- Ensure the well-being of older and dependent adults in the community
- Resolve conflict and improve human relations throughout the county
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
With one out of every seven people in L.A. county experiencing food insecurity, putting food on the table isn’t easy for the economically disadvantaged. The L.A. Regional Food Bank helps fight hunger and offers hope by mobilizing resources and providing nutrition education and food distribution programs throughout the county.
Family Resource Center Network of L.A. County
They say it takes a village to raise children. This is especially true with children who have special health care needs and other disabilities. The Family Resource Center of L.A. provides a welcoming place where parents of children with disabilities can share their concerns with each other and take advantage of educational opportunities to learn more about the needs of their children. Click here for the locations of the Network’s 11 resource centers located throughout the county.
First 5 L.A.
First 5 L.A. believes that every child in Los Angeles County from prenatal to age five deserves to grow up healthy, protected and ready to succeed in school and life. Using funds from California’s Proposition 10 tobacco tax, the organization works collaboratively throughout the county to advocate for stronger families, communities, services and support systems so all L.A. County children enter kindergarten prepared to have a successful learning experience.
Good health starts with good nutrition. CalFresh helps low-income individuals and families who meet federal income eligibility rules put healthy and nutritious food on their tables. Also called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), CalFresh provides qualified recipients with monthly electronic benefits that can be used to purchase a wide variety of foods at markets and food stores.
Safety, Substance Use, Abuse and Suicide Prevention
These agencies provide medical assistance and safe places to turn to for people in crisis situations.
California Poison Control System
Harmful substances can lurk inside the home and outside in the environment. For people accidentally exposed to poisonous or toxic substances, the nonprofit California Poison Control System provides expert treatment advice and referrals over the phone at no cost. Pharmacists, nurses, and poison information specialists are available to answer calls 24/7, and have interpreters that speak many languages. Call 1-800-222-1222 for immediate assistance.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) of Los Angeles County
Run by the L.A. County Department of Public Health, SAPC delivers a full spectrum of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services to help reduce the impact of substance use, abuse, and addiction in Los Angeles County. Services are provided to county residents, including uninsured or underinsured citizens, through 150 community-based organizations that provide services in the field of alcohol and drug use and abuse.
L.A. County Adult Protective Services
Part of 211 L.A., the central source for information and referrals for all health and human services in L.A. County, the L.A. Adult Protective Services offers a 24-hour assistance program to investigate reports of abuse involving the elderly (65 or older) and dependent adults (18 to 64) with physical and mental impairments. Call 877.477.3646 to report situations involving physical, mental, sexual or financial abuse, as well as deprivation, neglect, isolation, abandonment, abduction or any treatment that causes physical harm or mental suffering. Services are provided regardless of income level.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Although national in scope, the National Domestic Violence Hotline serves as a valuable resource for L.A. County residents experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information about domestic violence, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationships. The confidential hotline number – 800.799.7233 – is staffed around the clock every day of the year with highly-trained advocates ready to help those in need.
Suicide, especially in teens, is a growing concern for public health officials in L.A. County. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for individuals and families, and best practices for mental health professionals. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or severely depressed, call the 24-hour toll-free number at 800.273.8255.
The Trevor Project
Young people uncertain about or uncomfortable with their gender identities are often at risk of self-abuse and/or suicide. The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people ages 13 to 24. Teenagers and young adults in crisis can call the 24/7 toll-free number at 866.488.7386, text “Trevor” to 202.304.1200, or participate in online chat.
Community Clinic Advocacy and Support
Community clinics play a vital role in delivering health care services to the economically disadvantaged. These organizations work to ensure that everyone can receive the care they need.
The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles (CCALAC)
A nonprofit organization, CCALAC uses advocacy and education to help ensure and sustain healthcare funding for medically indigent, uninsured and vulnerable populations served by community clinics and health centers. It provides training, technical assistance, and resources to support its members clinics in delivering quality healthcare to those in need.
Part of the California Primary Care Association, California Health+ is a community of health care centers that provide comprehensive health care services for low-income, uninsured and underserved Californians who might otherwise not have access to health care. California Health+ accepts all patients regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.