To the editor:
We know that healthy kids make the best students — they’re focused and ready to learn and they miss fewer days because of illness.
Unfortunately, a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that 8 percent of Kansas children are uninsured, which means 60,000 kids aren’t getting the regular, preventive health care that will help them become productive adults. A new challenge could exacerbate this. On Jan. 1, our Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program will change its name from HealthWave to KanCare. An overnight change to a long-standing brand name poses a real risk of causing confusion among the families who rely on this coverage.
In a recent article in the Journal-World (“State reaches out to uninsured to enroll children in Medicaid program,” Aug. 13), a representative from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said beneficiaries would be notified of the name change before Jan. 1, but that may not be enough to avoid problems.
Losing the familiar and trusted HealthWave brand could create uncertainty for families who utilize this vital program. We already have ground to make up when it comes to covering kids in Kansas. Will we make sure kids count in the transition by doing everything we can to ensure that no child loses coverage? Simply co-branding materials with both the HealthWave logo and the new KanCare logo for the first year could reduce confusion and help families make the transition smoothly.