People must be healthy to have a fair shot at reaching their full potential. When Hawai‘i residents can seek the care they need without issue, their chances of becoming economically self-sufficient increase exponentially.
For several years, Hawai‘i Appleseed led efforts to ensure that residents of Compact of Free Association countries living in Hawai‘i had access to adequate medical coverage. Between 1997 and 2010, the State of Hawai‘i offered health insurance to citizens of COFA countries living in Hawai‘i under the Med-QUEST program, but in 2010, the state attempted to discontinue this coverage and replace it with Basic Health Hawai‘i, an inferior health care program. Thanks to our efforts, the state agreed to halt implementation of Basic Health Hawai‘i and COFA residents residing in Hawai‘i were able to remain under the Med-QUEST program.
For the past two years, Hawaiʻi Appleseed and Young Minds Advocacy have been investigating challenges faced by Hawaiʻi’s Medicaid-eligible youth in accessing adequate and timely mental health services as required under Medicaid’s Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program. Our work has included a comprehensive review of available records, as well as conversations with court officials, agency directors at the Office of Youth Services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD), mental health advocates, and leaders of non-profit social service programs that provide mental health services for youth.