Back-To-School Preparation Includes Health Insurance
With summer vacation coming to an end and Kentucky children headed back to school, it’s a good time to make sure health insurance is part of your child’s preparation for the new school year.
Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP) representatives have been visiting schools to spread the word about KCHIP, and back-to-school promotional materials, including bookmarks for students, are being distributed through Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSCs) in schools. A statewide radio campaign, in addition to other promotional efforts, reminds parents to make sure their children have health insurance.
“This month is a good time for parents to think about making sure their children have the tools they need to learn and succeed in the classroom, and nothing is more important than health care,” said Gov. Steve Beshear.
“It’s easy for parents to lose track of health insurance needs for children over the summer,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Janie Miller. “With school starting, it’s the perfect opportunity to take that extra step to make sure your child is covered for both routine and emergency care.”
As of the end of July, 22,212 additional children were enrolled in the KCHIP or Medicaid programs, an average of more than 2,500 children per month, since the end of October 2008. The Beshear Plan to dramatically cut the number of children without health coverage by removing barriers to KCHIP and Medicaid enrollment kicked off Nov. 1, 2008, and aims to enroll 35,000 eligible children by the end of fiscal year 2010.
The statewide initiative includes a simplified mail-in application, available online, and targeted outreach efforts. Efforts have included a focus on training community partners to assist with completion of applications; availability of enrollment materials at local health departments, Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) offices and FRYSCs; and outreach through health care providers, community action agencies, day care centers, faith-based organizations and many others. Approximately 250,000 mail-in applications, in both English and Spanish, have been distributed through these partnerships. In addition, CHFS has intensified efforts to re-enroll children who had previously been covered through the programs, including making policy changes to allow families an additional 30 days to return renewal information.
The KCHIP program provides health insurance to children whose family income is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, about $44,100 a year for a family of four.