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healthcare

Medicaid is Still Open for Business

The big news in Illinois this month is that enrollments into new health care options under the Affordable Care Act from October 1, 2013 – April 15, 2014 topped the half million mark.  More than 217,000 people enrolled in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace and even more – 287,000 enrolled into the new Medicaid expansion. The latest Gallup poll is shoring up these enrollment numbers with related data: the U.S. uninsured rate continued to drop to its lowest monthly rate since January 2008.

Mother’s Day, Like Medicaid, Should Be Year Round

Over 2 million young adults (18-34) now have coverage – many were able to stay on their parent’s plan – and this Mother’s Day we should take the time to thank the ones who helped make this happen. It’s no secret that Mothers, Mamas, and Care Givers everywhere helped ensure their families knew about the deadline to enroll in health coverage during the first open enrollment period. Our Get Covered America team met women across the country in search of information they could share with their families.  During phone banks, it was not unusual to have mothers stop the call and bring their sons or daughters to the phone to make sure they had what they needed to get covered.

Medicaid Means Healthy Kids and Bright Futures

When it comes to children’s health, every parent knows that the early years are crucial. President Lyndon B. Johnson echoed that sentiment when he pushed to expand the Medicaid program to focus on children’s health more than 40 years ago.

Despite getting more children health insurance coverage, not every child in America has the same chance at a healthy future. Low-income children are more likely to have problems affecting their behavioral development, vision, hearing, and oral health—all situations that can affect how children learn, play and grow. Low-income children of color are disproportionately affected, as they are more likely than other children to suffer from a range of health problems, including developmental delay, lead poisoning, dental caries, and asthma.  

Clearly, low-income children need access to routine preventive services and treatment of detected problems. This is where Medicaid comes in.  

Healthy Kids Make Better Learners

The School-Based Health Alliance serves as the national voice for school-based health centers (SBHCs), and our mission is to improve the health status of children and youth by advancing and advocating for school-based health care.

While our mission is focused on access to health care in school, our vision is that all children and adolescents are healthy and achieving at their fullest potential. One of the best ways to fulfill this vision is to ensure all children have health insurance. That’s why we are joining with the Connecting Kids to Coverage Campaign and Moms Rising during this Blog Carnival. It is vital for families to know that they can enroll in Medicaid and CHIP year-round. Increased insurance enrollment improves the sustainability of the health system for vulnerable children and teens, and strengthens the ability of health care providers—including SBHCs—to serve their communities.

How the ACA Helps Low-Income Parents – and Children – Succeed

A few weeks ago, President Obama announced that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) exchanges; 28 percent (about 2.2 million) were between ages 18 and 34.  But also important for young adults is the opportunity to sign up for Medicaid, which provides health care for low-income people and, unlike the exchanges, does not have a deadline.  

Within this group is a large number of low-income parents—and the correspondingly large number of young children whose early life is shaped by these parents' caregiving. For example, a national sample of infants found that half of the babies living in poverty had mothers age 24 or under and another one-fifth to one-quarter had mothers between 25 and 29.

Meeting these mothers’ -- and fathers’ -- physical and mental health needs can help them succeed in school, in job training, in the workplace, and as parents. 

Celebrating Mother’s Day with CHIP

How about a Mother’s Day gift of one less thing to worry about? The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid are there for families still without health insurance, and there’s no enrollment date to worry about. Children and teens up to age 18 – expecting mothers and parents too! – may be eligible for this free or low-cost care. So Mom can rest easy on her special day knowing the kids are getting regular checkups, lifesaving immunizations, doctor and dentists visits, emergency care, and more.

A Pennsylvania mother whose three sons are enrolled in CHIP thanks the coverage for the “perfect” care her twins received when they were born premature:

Just The Facts: Gateway to Care & the Culture of Health

We speak to many people everyday who call Gateway to Care because they are looking for healthcare. The phone call may start with the parent calling for assistance in locating healthcare options, but it will end with the whole family having the steps and tools they need for health coverage. Being that we are located in the state of Texas, 1 out of every 4 people are uninsured, the highest rate of uninsured people in the country http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/tif/healthcare.html). Gateway to Care's Connecting Kids and Families to Coverage team strives to make an impact on these numbers.

Our way of making sure that as many children are enrolled in CHIP/Medicaid as possible is by providing ongoing training to community leaders and stopping the spread of misinformation. We also participate in as many outreach events as possible and share the information with as many people as possible.

How can WE make a Difference?

 

Enroll your kid NOW. There is no telling what can happen in the future and health insurance is important.

Sign Up is Ongoing for Medicaid and CHIP

Spring is the time we think of children and their families being outside without their coats and seeing the bird’s nest if you stand on your tippy toes.  As spring came this year, the open enrollment period ended for the private insurance created by the Affordable Care Act.  The good news is that enrolling a child or a child’s parent in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is not limited by the seasons and is available now and next week and next month….come rain or come shine.  There is no deadline or enrollment period and signing up is available year round for either one of these programs.

Kids in California Are Eligible for No-Cost Medi-Cal All Year Round – Let’s Get Them Covered Today

Summer is almost here and California Coverage & Health Initiatives (CCHI) and all our statewide members want California’s children to be healthy wherever they live and play. Studies show children with health coverage are more likely to thrive and grow up better prepared for life as well as ready to learn in school. This is why we want to remind everyone that enrollment in free health care coverage through California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, is available all year long for children.

There is no deadline for applying, so check out if you and your family are eligible NOW by contacting your local enrollment counselor.  You can search for the nearest one by your zip code HERE or you can call Covered California at 1 (800) 300-1506 and they will assist you.  If you do not live in California, visit your state’s Medicaid agency or HealthCare.gov. Or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).

One less thing to worry about for Mother’s Day

Being a mother changes everything. Before you become a mother, people try to explain what that means – no sleep, no privacy (bathrooms seem to have an open door policy in my house), and your fashion sense goes out the window! The thing is, you can’t really know what it means until you are face to face with this other human being who depends on you for EVERYTHING. Once you get over the mind-numbing fear of all that responsibility, you move on to the practical things that you can do. Car seats– check. Bike helmets – check. A sweater for them whenever you get cold – check. A backpack full of snacks, wipes and allergy medicine at all times – check. We try to do everything we can to keep these little people safe, and that includes making sure that they have health insurance. 
 
So this Mother’s Day, I want all mothers to ease their anxiety when they see their daughters playing tough defense at mid-field in a soccer game (with much bigger girls), or their middle schooler sons heading out to play a pick-up game of basketball with the high school kids, or all of their children strapping on helmets to go “try out” the neighbor’s skateboard for the first time.

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