Archive for Friday, January 1, 2010

Child health coverage expands

Olympia Tyner, clinic assistant for the Women, Infants and Children program at Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, prepares Wednesday to weigh and measure 18-month-old Arely Lopez-Garcia. Arely’s mother, Maria Alicia Garcia, is pictured at left. The health department has cut $204,840 from its budget and raised fees.

Olympia Tyner, clinic assistant for the Women, Infants and Children program at Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, prepares Wednesday to weigh and measure 18-month-old Arely Lopez-Garcia. Arely’s mother, Maria Alicia Garcia, is pictured at left. The health department has cut $204,840 from its budget and raised fees.

January 1, 2010

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— As debate rages in Washington over health care reform, thousands of Kansas children will become eligible, starting today, for low-cost health insurance because of an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“This is a significant opportunity for Kansas families who can’t afford private health insurance for their children,” said Andy Allison, acting executive director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority.

SCHIP is a federal-state program that provides health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. In Kansas, the federal government provides about 72 percent of the funding and the state provides the other 28 percent. In November, 39,447 Kansas children were enrolled in the program.

Under the new rules, the eligibility limit for the Kansas SCHIP program will increase from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 250 percent. That translates to about $44,000 a year for a family of three or $53,000 a year for a family of four.

A family with children in SCHIP pays between $20 per month to $75 per month, depending on income.

Kansas lawmakers authorized the expansion in 2008, subject to additional federal funding becoming available. That federal funding became available in 2009 when Congress and President Barack Obama expanded SCHIP. Then the Kansas Legislature approved $1.2 million to cover the state’s share of the expansion.

“Improving children’s health is a top priority for everyone, and one of the most important steps in accomplishing that is to make sure children have access to affordable coverage so they can get the care they need,” Allison said. “This expansion will make that easier for thousands of working families who either can’t afford or don’t have access to private insurance.”

In addition, KHPA was recently awarded a five-year, $40.3 million federal grant that will be used to enhance outreach efforts and to acquire new technology that will improve and streamline the application process.

Comments

Orwell 5 years, 3 months ago

The reporter should have noted Lynn Jenkins's vote against this in Congress.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 3 months ago

More welfare! Stop having kids if you can't support them!

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm no fan of welfare, but I think we should do everything we can to support the children in our community and state. Maybe we can sell some of that crappy art downtown and quit building moronic roundabouts to help finance an increase in SCHIP.

meganpaff02 5 years, 3 months ago

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yoornotmee 5 years, 3 months ago

You people who would rather children not receive healthcare make me sick.

"More welfare! Stop having kids if you can't support them!"

Yeah, and if you lose your job and need government assistance to get by you should just kill the kids you can no longer support. (Sarcasm!)

You're an idiot.

AreYouKiddingMe 5 years, 3 months ago

Sunny... You make me hate strangers!! You make me want to say nasty things to people I have absolutely no idea about! I hope you have a comfy job, in a comfy house, and I hope all the kids you have you can support, and I hope they have great health insurance and do not desire for anything!! It must be great to sit in your position and cast disgust on people that you have absolutely no idea about! I agree that there are people out there that have children that they may not be able to support, but hold judgement if you don't know their situation. Or just continue to be a yucky person!

And jacob123 I can only hope that your comment is meant to be funny or you just made a fool of yourself, period!

maik_me 5 years, 3 months ago

Thats awesome!!! More healthy children in Kansas. Thank you President Obama!!

Hop2It 5 years, 3 months ago

So...you can make $53,000 (family of four) and qualify? That seems really high. Maybe I don't understand.

Linda Endicott 5 years, 3 months ago

"Jacob123 (Anonymous) says….

THe role of the state is to protect: Life, liberty and property It is the first one, nothing more important than that. "

This is what you said on the abortion thread, where you are obviously against abortion...

I would guess those little gems of wisdom you spewed forth only count if the child in question is unborn? not the child of a welfare mom? not the child of an illegal immigrant?

So...you think the state should protect the unborn...you think the state should ban abortion...but once the child is born, to h*ll with them all? Then they can just die, because you don't want your precious tax dollars going to provide health care for them?

Please, oh wise one, explain yourself...

Bryan Swan 5 years, 3 months ago

The SCHIP program is for kids only and is used when their parents have income levels TOO HIGH for regular Medicaid. So, the parent or parents are working. Everyone needs to keep in mind that often times the employer does not offer health insurance to employees because it is too expensive. I for one am glad Kansas is progressive enough to help our kids see doctors when they need to.

I support healthcare reform but unfortunately it is an incredibly complex topic that easily lends itself to simplistic and often uninformed attacks.

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