ZIMMERMAN LAURENT & RICHARDSON
Churches Join DHS to Enroll Children in Health Care Coverage
Cover the Kids Campaign Set for Aug. 3
DES MOINES, Iowa - July 30, 2008 - Nearly 1,000 Iowa churches will team up with the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to encourage parents to apply for free or low-cost health insurance for eligible children through Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa (hawk-i) or Medicaid.
Cover the Kids Day will take place in several church denominations throughout Iowa on Sunday, Aug. 3. Participating churches will explain these programs during services as well as include information in their publications like newsletters and bulletins. Churches also will have application forms available for families in their congregation.
"Churches have a long, proud tradition of helping families who deserve a break. We're delighted they are helping to make parents aware of hawk-i and Medicaid and how they can enroll their children," says Anita Smith, bureau chief-financial, health and work supports.
"Many Iowa families are struggling to recover from the recent floods and to cope with the rising costs of food and gasoline. We want parents to understand there are free or low-cost health insurance programs that can help families make ends meet," says Ron Eslinger, associate conference minister, Iowa Conference United Church of Christ.
As many as 25,000 Iowa children, who could qualify for hawk-i or Medicaid, currently are not covered by health insurance. Smith says one reason so many children are uninsured is because parents are unaware there are free or low-cost children's health insurance programs. She also adds some parents may assume that they earn too much to qualify.
Uninsured children in families earning up to twice the federal poverty level-or $41,000 for a family of four-are eligible for free or low-cost health insurance through hawk-i or Medicaid. The coverage is FREE for children in families with income below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Families with income above 150 percent of the federal poverty level pay a monthly premium of $10 per month per child, but no family pays more than $20 per month.
The program covers a broad range of health care services for children including sick and well-child doctor visits, immunizations, emergency room visits, in-patient and out-patient hospital care, surgery, prescription drugs, vision exams and eye glasses, dental care and exams, mental health, chiropractic care, and a variety of other services.
"These are beneficial programs available to the hard-working families in our congregations and communities throughout Iowa," says James Yeast, executive director, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
For complete eligibility requirements, visit www.hawk-i.org or call 1-800-257-8563.
(Contact: Roger Munns, Iowa Department of Human Services, 515-281-4848, email@example.com; Bill Brewer, ZLRIGNITION, 515-244-4456, ext. 104, firstname.lastname@example.org)