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Health Net ready to loan $7 million to California health clinics Posted: June 28th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

As the State of California continues to grapple with budget challenges, Health Net has announced an offer to provide zero-interest loans to Central Valley health clinics. Up to $7 million would be available to 12 clinics and their satellite offices in 19 counties should Medi-Cal funding be halted.

"During these uncertain times, we're breathing another sigh of relief over Health Net's action," said Jason Vega, chief executive officer of the Central Valley Health Network, in a statement. "By helping keep clinic doors open, Health Net is helping to keep health care available to some of the state's most vulnerable patients."

This is not the first time Health Net has offered financial assistance to area clinics. The health insurance company has made similar offers in each of the last five years. Since 2007, $15 million in zero-interest loans have been provided by Health Net of California and the Health Net Foundation. The money has been credited with helping clinics maintain their hours of operation and avoid closure.

In a statement, Dave Meadows, vice president of State Health Programs for Health Net of California, commented, "If clinics were forced to shut down or curtail operations, it could have a significant impact on entire families and communities. We're taking steps to help ensure that doesn't happen."