Newsletter Archive

Your Health Matters




Safety and the Opioid Crisis

Did you know over 4,000 Californians died of an opioid overdose in 2016? Overdose deaths by prescribed opioids were five times higher in 2016 than in 1999 in the U.S.

Opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine can be used to treat and ease pain. They also come with high risks. Opioid dependence and death from overdose can happen when taking prescribed opioids for a long time or at high doses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that a first opioid prescription should be for one week or less. This can lower the risk of dependence or long-term opioid use. You can learn more at
SFHP wants our members to use opioid medications safely. We have started a 7-Day limit on our member’s first prescription for a short-acting opioid for pain. This helps prevent long-term use and lowers the risk of opioid dependence.

Chronic Opioids
Our new limit only affects the first opioid prescription that a member gets. The 7-Day limit does not affect any member who has picked up an opioid prescription in the past six months (180 days) through SFHP.

This plan covers all short-acting opioids:

  • Codeine, codeine/acetaminophen  (Tylenol® with Codeine #3  or #4)
  • Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Norco, Vicodin®)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
  • Morphine, oxycodone, oxycodone/acetaminophen (Percocet®)
  • Oxymorphone, tramadol (Ultram®)
  • Tramadol/acetaminophen (Ultracet®)



SFHP Now Covers Family Therapy

Family therapy is now available for SFHP members. If your family is going through a tough time, family therapy can help. It can be useful in any family situation that causes stress, grief, anger, or conflict. It can help your family members understand each other better and work through conflicts. To access family therapy, or other counseling benefits, please call Beacon Health Options at 1(855) 371-8117.


Interpreter Services for SFHP Members

Is English not your main language? Is it hard to read, speak, write, or understand English? If you said yes, you have the right to interpreter services at no cost to you when you get health care or use health services.
Interpreter services are available 24 hours a day. You can receive them in-person or through a phone service. Your provider must offer an interpreter, even if you bring a friend or family member with you to help interpret. Keep in mind that medical interpreters are trained to make sure you and your provider receive the right information. You still have the right to say yes or no to this service.
Do you have questions on how to ask for an interpreter? Talk with your provider or call SFHP Customer Service at 1(800) 288-5555.

Are You Prepared for Your Future Care?

If you are in an accident or get a sickness that leaves you unable to speak for yourself, how will you communicate your health care decisions? Advance care planning is making decisions for the care you would like to get in case you are unable to speak for yourself. is a website in English and Spanish that can help you create an outline of your health care wishes and an Advance Directive form to share with your loved ones and providers. PREPARE walks you through five easy- to-follow steps to help you explore your health care decisions. You can also watch videos that show how to do each step. Get started on your advance care plan by visiting PREPARE. You can also work with your provider on an advance care plan at your next visit.

Pap Test vs. Pelvic Exam: What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between a Pap test and a pelvic exam? Many people think they are the same thing, but there are important differences. You may not need an annual pelvic exam, but a routine Pap test can save your life.

Keep in mind that these are guidelines. We now know that abnormal cell changes in the cervix are caused by infection with human papillomavirus, or HPV. You and your doctor may wish to choose an HPV test, which may be used along with a Pap test, or have more frequent Pap tests than recommended. If your doctor wants to perform a pelvic exam during a visit, ask why you need it. If you are healthy, an annual pelvic exam is not recommended.

Health Homes

Eligible Medi-Cal members have a new benefit called the Health Homes Program. The program is for members who meet certain chronic health issues and who have visited the emergency department or been admitted to the hospital more than others.
The Health Homes Program can help with things that impact your health, such as lack of a ride, medication questions, or connecting to community care that might be helpful for you and your support group. The Health Homes Program also makes sure that all of the providers involved in your care have the most up to date information about you.
If you would like to learn if you are eligible for the Health Homes Program please call SFHP Customer Service at 1(415) 547-7800.

Make an Appointment

Our Service Center can help you fill out and submit your Medi‑Cal application. Call Customer Service at 1(415) 777‑9992 to get started.  The Human Services Agency determines who qualifies for the Medi‑Cal Program.

Changes have been made to the San Francisco Health Plan Medi‑Cal, Healthy Workers HMO and Healthy Kids HMO pharmacy formularies.

To view our most recent updates, please go to If you cannot access the internet or have any questions about which medicines are covered, please call Customer Service at 1(415) 547‑7800 or 1(800) 288‑5555 (toll-free).

SF Benefits Net Enrollment Site

Find out if you are eligible for Medi-Cal, Food Stamps, School Meals, and other benefits.
1440 Harrison St.
Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm
Walk-Ins welcome.
Call SF BenefitsNet at
1(855) 355-5757.