The Board of Supervisors, on Tuesday, August 8, approved the County to receive the Housing and Homeless Incentive Program (HHIP) to increase the Landlord Engagement and Assistance Program (LEAP).
LEAP is operated by Bay Area Community Services (BACS) and provides housing-related services which include the provision of landlord incentives to secure affordable housing for clients, provide client and landlord level tenancy supports, house matching, landlord education, enhance the efficacy of voucher and subsidy programs addressing housing concerns and other housing-related efforts to support people experiencing homelessness.
The State of California's Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has developed a plan to enhance, expand, and strengthen Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in California, in accordance with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021.
- One of the initiatives under the HCBS plan is the Housing and Homeless Incentive Program (HHIP), which aims to expand and enhance programs that help individuals transition to community-based, independent living arrangements.
- Medical Care Providers (MCPs) recognize the link between housing stability and health outcomes. Homelessness can worsen health issues and increase healthcare costs for vulnerable populations.
- Through HHIP, MCPs can provide financial support to governmental partners such as LEAP to enhance housing programs, offer supportive services, and develop effective strategies for helping those facing homelessness.
The MCPs consist of the following providers in Sacramento County: Health Net, Anthem, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, and Molina. Each provider has applied separately for HHIP funding and amounts granted to each provider vary, but the pooled funds will amount to nearly $5 million.
With this funding increase, LEAP will be able to serve an additional 100 households annually, on top of the 150 annual households already funded through the existing ARPA agreement. HHIP funding will be utilized to expand landlord incentives and to help individuals in the LEAP program overcome barriers and access stable housing.
“The County has already seen positive outcomes through LEAP." Said Emily Halcon, Director of Homeless Services and Housing “We're thrilled to partner with our local health plans to increase the opportunity for stability for people who are unhoused."
“Sacramento County has been an incredible leader, collaborator and partner in implementing the state's California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative, ensuring Sacramento's most vulnerable residents have access to all innovations and reforms under CalAIM," said Martha Santana-Chin, Medi-Cal and Medicare president at Health Net.
"Anthem Blue Cross has been a committed supporter of Sacramento County efforts to effectively address the County's most pressing priorities, including funding innovative solutions that provide stability to those who are unhoused," said Les Ybarra, President of Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal health plan. "The reality in Sacramento, and across California, is that one of the greatest challenges for our members and individuals who are experiencing homelessness is finding available housing and landlords who are willing to work with them. We believe that the Landlord Engagement and Assistance Program will help remove these barriers and improve lives, so we are proud to serve as a critical partner, and we look forward to continued collaboration with the County to address homelessness."
About Anthem Blue Cross of California:
Anthem Blue Cross helps improve healthcare access and quality for Californians by developing innovative care management programs and services. Anthem Blue Cross' top priority is the health and well-being of our consumers, and we are committed to providing members with access to comprehensive health care. Through health education and community outreach programs, members are empowered to choose and sustain a healthy lifestyle. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name for Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Cross of California Partnership Plan, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Elevance Health, Inc. The Blue Cross name and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Blue Cross of California is contracted with L.A. Care Health Plan to provide Medi-Cal Managed Care services in Los Angeles County. To learn more, visit https://mss.anthem.com/ca or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.
About Health Net:
At Health Net, we believe every person deserves a safety net for their health, regardless of age, income, employment status or current state of health. Founded in California more than 40 years ago, we're dedicated to transforming the health of our community, one person at a time. Today, 90,000 network providers serve three million members. That's nearly 1 in 12 Californians. We provide health plans for individuals, families, businesses of every size and people who qualify for Medi-Cal or Medicare — Coverage for Every Stage of Life™. Health Net also offers access to substance abuse programs, behavioral health services, employee assistance programs and managed healthcare products related to prescription drugs. We offer these health plans and services through Health Net, LLC and its subsidiaries: Health Net of California, Inc., Health Net Life Insurance Company and Health Net Community Solutions, Inc. These entities are wholly owned subsidiaries of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), a Fortune 25 company that offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation. For more information, visit www.HealthNet.com.