Covering Kids & Families
Covering Kids & Families is a national initiative focused on reducing the number of eligible but uninsured children and adults through Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). It is a coalition of organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
There are a lot of factors contributing to why nine million children in this country are uninsured. Health insurance is still primarily employer-based. More and more companies are cutting back on their contribution to insurance plans and often not providing for dependants. Many small businesses find employer-provided insurance too expensive to offer to their employees. This is a huge problem for the working poor. Eighty percent of uninsured children have at least one parent working. Families are in a position where they have to make a decision, “Do I put food in the refrigerator, or do I buy health insurance?”
It’s very important that children are covered by some sort of health plan. Diseases like diabetes are becoming more prevalent in children. There’s a greater need for immunizations as more and more communicable diseases travel throughout world. Early detection of certain diseases and conditions, if identified, can be corrected. Some children are unable to be successful in school because they lack diagnosis of vision problems or diagnosis of other health problems that keep them from attending school regularly.
There are resources out there for people who need help getting health insurance coverage. It depends on an individual’s income level, but all states do provide some assistance, either through Medicare or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). To find out if you and your children may be eligible for low-cost or free health insurance, they can contact Insure Kids Now at 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).
There are no federal provisions for undocumented children to receive public health coverage, however, there are some programs available in certain areas. It varies from region to region, so contact your state and local health services departments to see what programs might be available in your area.