ZIMMERMAN LAURENT & RICHARDSON
Churches Join DHS to Enroll Children in Health Care Coverage
Cover the Kids Campaign Set for Oct. 18
DES MOINES, Iowa - Oct. 14, 2009 - Nearly 1,500 Iowa churches will team up with the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to encourage parents to apply for free or low-cost health and dental 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, Oct. 19. 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. 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.
As many as 27,000 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 and dental insurance programs. She also says changes enacted by the Legislature have increased income limits, enabling more families to qualify for coverage.
"There are families who may never have been in a situation to believe that they might be eligible for the program," adds Kent Ferris, director of social action for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport, a participant in Cover the Kids Day. "It is a natural fit that we would promote a program that is very successful and fulfills a great need."
Uninsured children in families earning up to three times the federal poverty level-about $54,000 for a family of three - are eligible for free or low-cost health and dental 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 between 150 percent and 250 percent pay $10 per month for a single child and no more than $20 per month for two or more children. The maximum premium for families with incomes of between 250 percent and 300 percent is $40 a 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.
For complete eligibility requirements, visit www.hawk-i.org or call 1-800-257-8563.
(Contacts: 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)