OAKLAND (KCBS) – More than 10,000 children in Alameda County are still without health insurance, even though they could receive coverage.

Now, top county officials are trying to remedy the problem by doing outreach within the community.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan said over half the uninsured children in the county come from low income families and most are Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander or African American.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“We have 13,000 children in Alameda County who qualify for federal programs, in particular Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, but haven’t signed up for insurance yet,” she said.

And many are suffering needlessly, according to La Clínica de La Raza Pediatrician Dr. John Pescetti.

He recently saw a six-year-old girl who was suffering from painful facial swelling and prescribed an antibiotic to reduce the swelling.

“I called her the next day and asked her mom how she was doing,” Pescetti said. “And the mom confessed that she hadn’t purchased the medication yet because it was too expensive.”

Pescetti said this wasn’t so much an issue of access as it was coverage. County officials are preparing a massive outreach campaign that will reach schools, hospitals and churches, all in an effort to get children enrolled.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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