Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Indiana officials urge health care program enrollment

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By KEN KUSMER

Associated Press Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials and public insurance advocates reached out Wednesday to Indiana’s more than half a million uninsured children and adults to get them enrolled in free and low-cost health care programs.

Back-to-school paperwork for many K-12 students will help enroll them in Hoosier Healthwise, Indiana’s health care program combining Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, State School Superintendent Tony Bennett and other officials said at a Statehouse news conference.

For example, qualifying for free and reduced-price lunches provides fast-track enrollment into Hoosier Healthwise for needy students, Bennett said.

“We have to have partnerships if we’re going to bring healthy children to school,” Bennett said.

Covering Kids & Families of Indiana, a not-for-profit that advocates enrollment in government health insurance programs, said Indiana has more than 130,000 children and more than 400,000 adults without health insurance.

The federal health care overhaul approved by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in March reauthorized the SCHIP program through Sept. 30, 2014, and requires states to maintain current income eligibility levels through Sept. 30, 2019. In Indiana, it’s 2 1/2 times the federal poverty level, or an annual income of $55,125 for a family of four.

If those students’ uninsured parents don’t qualify for Medicaid — expanded eligibility for most won’t begin until 2014 under the health care overhaul — they might be able to enroll in the Healthy Indiana Plan, the state’s medical savings account for low-income adults.

“We know we’re not reaching everyone,” state Medicaid Director Pat Casanova said.

Covering Kids & Families will be offering free immunizations and health screenings and onsite health care enrollment during the coming weeks in cities across Indiana, including Anderson, Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, LaPorte, Logansport, Michigan City, Muncie and Rochester. For more information, go to www.ckfindiana.org

 

Posted 7/22/2010

 

 

 

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