Children and families won big when Congress – at long last – approved sweeping health care reform that promises to put affordable coverage within reach of 32 million uninsured Americans in the coming years.
So it’s fitting that it’s Cover the Uninsured Week here in Washington state, where – despite great strides we've made to provide more children access to health care – an estimated 78,000 kids remain uninsured.
Many outreach organizations that have helped thousands of families enroll their children for the state's Apple Health for Kids program are hosting sign-up events this week.
These outreach organizations have played a critical role in the progress Washington has made toward fulfilling our promise to cover all kids. Yet the state Senate’s budget proposal calls for a complete elimination of the $425,000 investment for Apple Health for Kids outreach.
This cut makes no sense for our state, or for families. If outreach funds are eliminated, Washington will miss out on $425,000 in federal matching dollars. Without adequate funding, outreach organizations won't be able to do their jobs, and eligible children won't get coverage.
Cutting outreach funding would be a huge step backward and halt the forward momentum of health care reform
There’s no time to waste. The special session could draw to a close any day.
Urge your lawmakers to protect Apple Health for Kids outreach funding. They still have time to make smart budget choices that reflect what matters most to Washington families: the health of their children.
(Visit leg.wa.gov to find your district and link to your legislators.)
More than three-quarters of the uninsured children in our state are eligible for medical and dental coverage through Apple Health for Kids.
Families of four earning up to $66,000 per year (or three times the federal poverty level) are eligible for high-quality coverage with low monthly premiums. Coverage is free for families of four earning up to $44,000 (twice the federal poverty level).
Find out if you’re eligible and download an application form here.
- Cover the Uninsured events in WA – Find an Apple Health for Kids sign-up event near you.
- Hotlines – WithinReach helps connect parents with a range of support services, including Apple Health for Kids.
- Cover the Uninsured – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offers an overview of efforts all over the country to give more Americans access to health coverage.
– Liz Gillespie