Rapids Join MLS and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Promote Children's Health Care Coverage

DENVER (Rapids Community Care Foundation) - With nearly 8.3 million uninsured children in America the need for outreach about low-cost and free health care coverage available to eligible families through Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is more important than ever.

That’s why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will hold its seventh annual Covering Kids and Families Back-to-School Campaign this August and September.

The Colorado Rapids Community Care Foundation has joined in this effort and will distribute information on insurance programs for children at the Foundation table inside Gate 10 on August 12th. For more information please visit www.coveringkidsandfamilies.org.

Covering Kids & Families is a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on reducing the number of eligible but uninsured children and adults through enrollment in Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). It is the nation’s single largest effort of its kind. Since 1997 RWJF has invested nearly $150 million in two major initiatives to ensure that every child and adult eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP coverage receives it: Covering Kids and Covering Kids & Families.

The Covering Kids & Families initiative has benefited from the work of coalitions in 50 states and the District of Columbia with more than 5500 member organizations. Covering Kids & Families coalitions include public officials health professionals educators businesses social service agencies faith-based organizations and others all working to ensure that eligible children and adults are insured through Medicaid or SCHIP.

Major League Soccer has joined this effort by hosting "Back to School" nights across the country. These events will further promote Covering Kids & Families through information distribution in-arena announcements and other team promotions. The Colorado Rapids Community Care Foundation will host its "Back to School" night on August 12th when the Rapids face the Los Angeles Galaxy at Invesco Field. Fans can stop by the table inside Gate 10 to pick up more information on the program.

The Covering Kids & Families initiative seeks to enroll eligible uninsured children and adults in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Covering Kids & Families uses three proven strategies to enroll eligible uninsured children and adults:
• Simplification of eligibility policies and practices
• Coordination of eligibility policies and procedures among different coverage programs
• Outreach to eligible uninsured children and adults

Progress is being made
• The Foundation’s efforts have helped decrease the number of uninsured children from 11 million in 1997 to fewer than 8.3 million in 2005
• All 50 states and the District of Columbia administer a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and 38 states and the District of Columbia have expanded eligibility for children in households with incomes at or above 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) which is approximately $40000 a year for a family of four.

More work needs to be done
• A majority of the 8.4 million uninsured children are eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP and many uninsured adults are eligible too.
• There are still obstacles to getting these eligible children and adults the coverage they need including policy and procedural barriers and a lack of awareness about eligibility for public health coverage programs.

For more information please visit www.coveringkidsandfamilies.org