|In March of 1999, the IHSS Public Authority began offering a new job benefit for Independent Providers (IP's). Eligible IHSS workers can sign up for a plan called HealthyWorkers, health coverage provided by the San Francisco Health Plan (SFHP). As the employer, the Public Authority has joined with the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), City Departments and the San Francisco Health Plan to bring health insurance to Independent Providers. |
Prior to 1999, most of the 7,000 Independent Providers in San Francisco had no health coverage. Forty percent of the cost of the current medical insurance is covered by federal matching dollars under Medicaid. Since the cost of health care for many of these workers is already being paid by the county and is unreimbursed care, the federal match can reduce county costs or extend or improve the services provided.
Today, most IHSS independent providers in San Francisco who are recorded in the computer database as both authorized to work and paid for two consecutive months (and for at least 25 hours in one of those months) become eligible to apply for a full medical plan called HealthyWorkers. The coverage costs the worker only $3 per month, which is deducted from paychecks after the application is received. To learn more about HealthyWorkers, visit the website of the San Francisco Health Plan.
The Public Authority and SEIU-UHW continue to work together with other community groups to gain higher pay and benefits for IHSS workers in San Francisco.