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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.

Easter Seals has been committed to helping families stay healthy for nearly a century. That’s why we are so dedicated to helping families know more about basic child development, especially for kids under the age of 5. We are on a mission to get EVERY child screened so that EVERY parent knows the progress their child is making in meeting his or her developmental milestones.  Is my 14 month old walking? When will my toddler start talking? That’s why Easter Seals developed Make the First Five Count (www.makethefirstfivecount.org) – an initiative that works to build awareness and give parents a free, online screening tool – the Ages and Stages Questionnaire – so they can monitor their child’s developmental progress and provide their child with the right support needed to be ready for school and to build a foundation for a lifetime of learning.  

With the recent expansion of the Medicaid program in many states, more parents and adults may be eligible for Medicaid then in prior years.  People who may have been denied by Medicaid in the past, may now qualify.  The CHIP program may assist children whose parents are working and make just a little too much to qualify for Medicaid.  To learn more about Medicaid and CHIP and how to enroll, visit your state’s Medicaid agency or HealthCare.gov. Or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).

And remember, there is no need to wait until you get that heavy sweater out to sign up. Medicaid and CHIP are available for enrollment right now and that is just true!  


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