People experiencing homelessness are one of the populations most impacted by COVID-19 in California because they lack protection from the environment, adequate access to hygiene and sanitation facilities, or connection to services and health care. Numerous entities across the state, including public health departments, health care organizations, and housing providers, are working to address the health and social needs of this population during the current crisis. Within this ecosystem of response efforts, California’s Medicaid managed care plans have a particularly valuable role to play to support this population.
L.A. Care Health Plan serves over 2.1. million members in Los Angeles County and 33 percent of the 66,436 people experiencing homelessness in the county, which necessitated the health plan to develop a multifaceted approach to serving this population. The Center for Health Care Strategies spoke with Alison Klurfeld, director of safety net programs and partnerships at L.A. Care, about the health plan’s efforts in recalibrating its existing homelessness support services to address the immediate needs of this population during the pandemic.