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Kaiser offers free insurance for kids

We've seen this in a number of places, but thanks to ProtestMama for sending it along to us as well:

Kaiser is offering free health insurance to grade K-6 children attending Multnomah County public schools.
Kaiser Permanente, in partnership with schools and the Multnomah Education Service District, is offering free health insurance to grade K-6 children attending Multnomah County public schools.
The insurance is free — there is no premium — but families must pay a small co-pay for office visits and prescriptions. Once enrolled, children are covered through age 19 if they remain in school.
To qualify, children must meet three main requirements:

  • Attend school – Children must attend a public school in Multnomah County. Charter schools and publicly funded alternative programs also qualify.
  • Grades K-6 – To enroll, children must be in grades K-6. Siblings can also be covered if they are age 3 or older (through 12th grade).
  • Income – Families must earn 250 percent or less of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, this is about $4,600 per month, or $53,000 per year.

Kaiser offers the insurance as part of its community benefit program, which, among other goals, seeks to expand access to medical care for the uninsured. About 4,000 children already are covered through this no-premium plan; Kaiser and MESD want to double enrollment by the end of the year.
In addition to the Kaiser insurance, the Oregon Health Plan offers low-cost health insurance to children from families that earn up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

According to the latest census data, 107,000 Oregon children — about one in nine — lacked health insurance in 2005-07, the latest period for which data are available.
For questions about the Kaiser program or the Oregon Health Plan, or to enroll, contact MESD: 503-257-1732, speterso@mesd.k12.or.us.

Comments

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Kudos to Kaiser!

Wow, that's totally awesome. Good health care too, I grew up on Kaiser and my mom still has her insurance through them. I'll look into that once my little guy is school age.

What an incredible program.

I told a friend about it last week, she called that day and left a message. The next day her call was returned and a meeting was set for the next day. She walked out of the meeting with insurance for her two kids. It took less than 72 hours - in fact it was closer to 48 hours.

Kaiser and the county really want to make it easy and meet their registration goals. I encourage everyone that thinks they will qualify to call.

Why do they put the public school requirement on the insurance????

Does anyone know if this includes dental coverage?

I think the public school thing probably just makes it easier to track kids. I don't know. The other reason may be the (poor) assumption that if you go to a private school you have money. I don't know where homeschooled kids fit into that equation, though.

I think the MESD is non-profit organization, which is likely a requirement to get money from the KP community benefit program. KP is also non-profit, so I assume there are some strict requirements on who the organization can donate to.

super cool, slightly changes my feelings towards KP

Homeschooled kids should be find. the MESD tracks homeschooled kids, so as long as they're in the system, they should be covered under this as well. Contact the homeschooling dept.

This is AMAZING. I am so, so glad to hear about this, even though our family comes nowhere near to qualifying.

Wow, k, we're all very happy that you are so well-off.

You both look ridiculous on here with your comments, k and snooty-McSnootSnoot. Take them elsewhere.

I'm truly sorry if I came across as snooty or sarcastic -- my comment and enthusiasm were absolutely sincere. I think this program is incredible and important. We've only very recently come out of a long financial struggle, which included some frightening and overwhelming problems with serious illness and healthcare. I think what I meant to say was, our family is fortunate enough to be above this poverty-line calculation, but we haven't always been, and I am thrilled to hear that there are programs being developed by large health insurance companies to make sure our children, at least, are cared for. I'm glad that urbanmamas exists to spread the word, and I plan on spreading the word as well.

You didn't come off as snooty, k, even before your second comment.

Check out this video about how you can help control the rising costs of health care by asking questions. http://www.urbanmamas.com/activistas/2008/03/health-reform-i.html#comments

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