PROBE: December 14, 2001

December 14, 2001

QUESTION: We are a low-income family. I have heard of a "wellness" program. Could you explain how it works and how we go about finding out if we qualify? — Not Rich, Brawley

We think you're talking about the Healthy Families program. It's set up to provide medical care for families too rich for Medi-Cal but too poor to buy health insurance.

You can find out about it at Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo or the Imperial County Department of Health Services. If you go to the health department ask to talk to somebody about the Healthy Families program. You also can call 482-4438.

If you qualify they'll sign you up for low-cost health insurance. If you are in a typical family of four with children between the ages of 6 and 19, your monthly income must fall between $1,472 and $3,678.


Families of four with children under age 6 may qualify with higher incomes. Such families may earn from $1,958 to $3,678. Bigger families may qualify with even higher incomes.

The health insurance costs $7.50 a month. Unfortunately it covers only children. Someday the state will realize that healthy parents raise healthy families.

If you don't make enough money for the Healthy Families program you may qualify for Medi-Cal. You have to be dirt poor for this program but it's free and it covers everybody in the family.

QUESTION: I don't have any money either to help the woman who lost $500 but I, too, have some toys for the children if you will tell me where to leave them. Tell me the ages of the children and tell me where to drop off the toys. — Soft-hearted, no town

There are two little girls, ages 3 and 8, and a baby boy.

The address we have is P.O. Box 1718, Niland, CA 92257.

For children, Christmas without toys is no Christmas at all, but here's the rub. This family shares a house with another family. A large amount of toys could be a problem.

QUESTION: Ruben Garcia is Stella Mendoza's cousin. If he wins a seat on the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Trustees, wouldn't she have a conflict of interest? — Voter, Imperial

We've never heard that Ruben Garcia is Mendoza's cousin but Mendoza is related to almost everybody else in the county so it wouldn't surprise us if she's kin to Garcia.

Nevertheless, there's no law against sitting on a board with your cousin.

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