Apr282014

ACA Offers Critical Support for Foster Kids

Posted by Kassy Perry

California Health Report
April 28, 2014
By Chris Richard

Behind the first wave of pain came fear.

It wasn’t just the agony of a shattered pelvis that terrified Jimmy Dion as he lay in the street that day last December.

It was having no insurance.

A driver had cut him off, and he’d swerved to miss her, but his handlebar caught in the wheel well of a truck. And then he was underneath, the truck dragging him and Dion screaming and onlookers screaming and then the truck stopping and people running toward where he lay tangled in the wreckage of his bicycle.

That December accident could have been yet another calamity in a life scarred by unfair struggles: taken from his drug-addled parents as a toddler, 16 foster homes by his 11th birthday, an occasional assurance that he had potential, but more often official reminders that “my chances of making it were slim to none.”

And on the day of the accident, Dion had just turned 23, well past the age limit on the Medi-Cal health insurance that California extends to most youths who become wards of the state. A community college student, he couldn’t afford private coverage. An application for interim insurance provided through the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services was in limbo.
Read the full story here.