Newsletter Archive

Your Health Matters

Spring 2019, IN THIS EDITION:



Our Quality Improvement (QI) Program

Evaluating and improving quality and care for our members

Each year, we put together a QI plan for activities with our provider network, including your medical group and hospital, to improve your and all of our members’ health care. This QI plan and outcomes for meeting the QI plan goals are approved by the State Medi-Cal program, too. It is available to all Medi-Cal, Healthy Kids HMO and Healthy Workers HMO members. If you are interested in the details for the QI plan or outcomes, you can find information on our website at or request a paper copy by calling us at 1(415) 547-7800 or 1(800) 288-5555 (toll-free).



Obstructive sleep apnea is a common health problem that can impact quality of sleep.

One of its most common traits is loud, frequent snoring. Other main signs are choking or gasping for air and pauses in breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea may also find that they have trouble staying asleep, wake up with a dry mouth, or feel a lot of sleepiness during the day.

Many people do not know they have sleep apnea. Often the warnings are recognized by another person. If you have a question about whether you have sleep apnea, talk with your PCP. Sleep apnea is treatable.


Vaping Dangers for Teens

Use of vape pens among teens is on the rise, and the risks are real and long-lasting.

The use of e-cigarettes, also called vape pens, is on the rise among middle and high school students. Many vape pens come in fl avors that seem kid-friendly, such as cotton candy or gummy bear. But the risks for teens can be serious. Vape pens have nicotine (the poison in tobacco). This is harmful to a teenager’s growing brain. Also, vape pens have chemicals linked to lung disease and certain cancers.Talk with your teen about why vape pens are harmful.

Visit for more facts and how to talk to your teen.

Sports Drinks: Good or Bad?

Are they the healthy choice for kids and teens?

Sports drinks are often thought to be a healthy drink after workouts or sports. But sports drinks are not healthy for kids and teens. Many sports drinks have high levels of sugar. Experts have linked sports drinks to greater risk of weight gain, tooth decay, obesity, and high blood sugar. During exercise, water is the healthiest drink choice to make sure your child stays hydrated and refreshed.



Do You Really Have a Penicillin Allergy?

Penicillin is one of the best meds for treating illness caused by bacteria, such as strep throat. Recent studies show that many people who think they have an allergy to it do not. Often, these people were wrongly labeled allergic as kids or have grown out of it as adults.

It’s good to know if you are truly allergic. Visit and type “penicillin” into the search box to learn more and talk to your PCP about getting re-tested.



Safely Remove Medicine from Your Home

Do You Have Leftover Medicines in Your Home?

Dispose of your out of date or unused medicines (meds) to avoid harming yourself or others. Experts say that 6 in 10 people have leftover meds at home. Do not flush leftover meds down the toilet or sink. Do not throw leftover meds in the trash. San Francisco has drop-off sites where you can get rid of leftover meds safely.

To dispose of leftover meds:

  • Move any leftover pills to a Ziploc bag
    (leave liquids in their bottle)
  • Remove any personal information
  • Take to a drop-off site for disposal
  • Recycle empty pill bottles

Many SFHP network pharmacies are drop-off sites. When you get a new med ask your pharmacist about safe disposal of any leftover pills/liquids. For more information, call San Francisco’s Safe Medicine Disposal program at 1(415) 355-3700 or visit

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.