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Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

Public Charge: What You Need to Know

MCAH Programs

Contact Information

Los Angeles County
Department of Public Health
Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health Programs

600 S. Commonwealth Ave.,
8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Tel: (213) 639-6400
Fax: (213) 639-1034
Community Health Outreach Initiatives (CHOI)



The Department of Public Health (DPH) established the Children’s Health Outreach Initiatives (CHOI) Program in August 1997, to provide a mechanism for reducing the number of uninsured residents through a coordinated outreach effort for the various health coverage programs for low-income children. In 2021, the program name was changed to ‘Community Health Outreach Initiatives’ to reflect our work with people of all ages in all communities across Los Angeles County.

Health Problems:

Lack of adequate health insurance is one of the most important barriers impacting access to health services in Los Angeles County. Individuals without health insurance are less likely than those who are insured to see a physician for regular care including preventive care, such as screening and vaccination. Uninsured families tend to rely on emergency rooms for their regular source of care and to go without needed medical care for acute and chronic health conditions.


Increase health access and care for children and families in Los Angeles County through comprehensive outreach, enrollment, utilization and retention services for Medi-Cal, Covered California, and other no or low-cost health coverage and service programs.

What Health Coverage Programs* are Included:
  1. Medi-Cal
  2. Covered California 
  3. Child Health & Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program (sunsetting 6/30/24)
  4. Medi-Cal Access Program
  5. Kaiser Permanente Community Health Care Program (KPCHCP)
  6. Women Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food Program
  7. Referrals to ability-to-pay programs

*Health Coverage Programs are subject to change.  Please contact agencies below for an updated list


Because of the numerous programs, all with different eligibility requirements, it is important to inform not only the public about these services but to also train agency staff, who serve low income populations, to become well informed in order to best assist clients

List of CHOI Agency Partners - Assistance for obtaining free or low cost health care (English & Spanish) rev. July 2020.

Contractor Activities/Services:
  • Routine training of numerous staff, parent volunteers, and community members regarding free and low-cost health coverage programs and services.
  • Presenting to several groups including churches, school personnel, community based agencies, childcare providers, parent groups, small businesses, and other sites with potentially eligible persons. 
  • Participating in outreach events such as health/safety fairs and other community events.
  • Making in-person and phone contacts with potentially eligible individuals/families.
  • Distributing brochures, mailers, flyers, fact sheets and training materials.
  • Working with LAUSD and LACOE to allow for access to school sites for presentations and enrollment activities.
  • Disseminating information regarding these programs via newspapers and radio spots/interviews.
  • Working with small business to inform employers with low/moderate income workers who are unable to provide insurance to their employers or their families about the availability of low-cost programs. Contractors then give presentations to the employees and enroll eligible family members at the business site.

Community Referrals
  • Referring individuals that are not eligible for health coverage programs to safety net providers for medical services.

Application Assistance
  • Providing application assistance to individuals/families.
  • Completing enrollment applications for Medi-Cal and other health coverage programs.

Trouble Shooting and Retention/Renewal Services
  • Following up with clients to ensure enrollment in the appropriate health coverage programs, health plans and with the appropriate providers, and assist families to overcome enrollment barriers by troubleshooting problems.
  • Follow up with clients to ensure utilization of health services.
  • Follow up with clients to assist with renewal forms necessary to retain health coverage.

List of CHOI Agency Partners: To learn how you may qualify with obtaining free/no cost health coverage, contact one of our agency partners (English & Spanish) (rev. July 2020).  

Data Collection, Reporting, and Evaluation

Data from these services is collected and input into a web-based system available to each of the contracted agencies by any computer connected to the internet. The agencies can run data reports that include demographic information from clients assisted. This database system also allows DPH to run up-to-date project reports as needed to be able to provide information in order to evaluate the success of this project.

This project highlights a successful union of County departments working together with trusted local community-based agencies to reach and serve the population of uninsured families in Los Angeles County.


Materials and Training:

Health coverage outreach materials have been developed collaboratively with DPSS and community agencies. The "We’ve Got You Covered" pamphlet was developed to be utilized for consumer education. The full color pamphlet can be ordered through the CHOI office. La Opinion supplements with Medi-Cal applications can also be obtained at the CHOI office.

Anyone interested in learning details regarding various health coverage programs available, either to become an application assistant or for an overview, can call the two agencies in LA County contracted to provide training, as well to review and print the “We’ve Got You Covered” guide see the links provided below:

Maternal & Child Health Access (213) 749-4261 MCHA Web site

Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Web site

Medi-Cal Renewal Resources

CHOI System Access Request Form

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