Mission Totally Possible: Getting Health Care Coverage for Kids in Your Community
Special Mission for MomsRising members, aka SuperMoms, SuperDads, and Superheros of all sizes: Each year, many children who want to participate in school or community sports are sidelined because they don't have health insurance. They may not be able to afford a physical or their families worry they'll get hurt on the field.
But help is available!
We just need to get the word out. Thanks to the Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid, we can start to cover uninsured children right now. Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and start working to make sure that every child has the health care coverage he or she needs to get in the game. Especially during this difficult economic time, it is critical that we pass along this important information on how to get coverage to all families in our communities. Many families do not know that their children may be eligible for free or low cost health care coverage.
Supermoms to the rescue! Help us spread the word in your community that great low cost children's health coverage is available. Here are 4 quick ways to be a superhero today:
1- EMAIL FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND YOUR PARENT COMMUNITY - Simply cut, paste, and personalize the sample email below to your friends, family, sports team parent list, school list, and more:
Each year, some children who want to participate in school or community sports are sidelined because they don't have health insurance. They may not be able to afford a physical or their families worry they'll get hurt on the field. Help spread the word out that there are multiple sources of health insurance for almost every child, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Call the toll-free number 1-877-KIDS-NOW or check out InsureKidsNow.gov or Espanol.insurekidsnow.gov/enes to find out if your child may be eligible. And please share this far and wide. Millions of children are eligible for this free or low cost health care coverage, but are not yet enrolled. Thanks so much.
2- FACEBOOK THE WORD OUT - Share this page on your Facebook wall using the "Share" button above. For more social media sharing options, check out the "Share Us" button on the right, under the MomsRising Changing More Than Diapers t-shirt.
3- TWEET ALL ABOUT IT - For those of you on Twitter, here's a sample Tweet to get the word out: Got kids who need #health ins? Get them covered: http://bit.ly/c5zRJH
4- GET THE WORD OUT AT PARENT GATHERING PLACES IN YOUR TOWN WITH INFORMATIVE FLYERS - You can download a flyer by clicking here. You know best where parents regularly gather in your town, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- your local library
- your place of worship
- rec centers
- your kids' school or daycare
- community center
- local community college
- shopping centers
- PTA meetings
- community health clinics
- food banks
Who is eligible for low or no cost children’s health insurance?
Families who cannot afford health insurance coverage in the private market or do not have coverage available to them can apply for coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  These are programs offered jointly by the federal government and the states. Check your own state’s eligibility requirements at InsureKidsNow.gov or Espanol.insurekidsnow.gov/enes.  The InsureKidsNow.gov map provides state-specific information about both the Medicaid and CHIP programs. [3, 4]
“I know that my daughter is alive and was allowed 2 years of cancer treatment only because she had access to CHIP funds." -- Erin, WA
To find out if your child is eligible, make a free call to 1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669) or click on the InsureKidsNow.gov map for a link to your state’s CHIP web page. Calling the free and confidential hotline puts you directly through to someone from your state. The CHIP or Medicaid staff will help you decide whether your child might be eligible and help you complete the application. In some cases, they will walk you through the online application or offer to send you an application in the mail. In most states, you can complete the application through the mail or over the phone.
NOTE: Medicaid and CHIP go by different names in different states. Click here for a list of program names.
Need more info?
State guides for the uninsured:
Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Eligibility by State (March 2010) - http://www.familiesusa.org/issues/childrens-health/about-chip/
1. From InsureKidsNow.gov: "Thanks to the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA), signed by President Obama on February 4, 2009, the Medicaid and CHIP programs have more funding available than ever before to provide coverage to uninsured children and make sure they stay enrolled and have access to high quality care." - http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/About%20Us/index.html
2. InsureKidsNow.gov is your go-to resource on getting your kids covered. - http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/About%20Us/index.html
3. What is Medicaid? “Medicaid provides health coverage for low-income children and adults, medical and long-term care coverage for people with disabilities, and assistance with health and long-term care expenses for low-income seniors. Nearly 59 million people rely on Medicaid services." - http://www.familiesusa.org/issues/medicaid/
"Medicaid pays for a full set of services for children, including preventive care, screening and treatment of health conditions, physician and hospital visits, and vision and dental care. In most cases, these services are provided at little to no cost to the family." - http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/medicaid/index.html
4. What is CHIP?
CHIP – “The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP provides health coverage to low-income children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Like Medicaid, CHIP is a state-federal partnership. All states have a CHIP program, and they have considerable freedom in how they design their programs” - http://www.familiesusa.org/issues/childrens-health/about-chip/
5. More information on the millions of kids who have been served by these programs:
Medicaid and CHIP together served more than 35 million children in 2008 - http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/facts/index.html