and back to school
With back to school preparations underway St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals are encouraging parents to apply for medical insurance for their children if they are not covered. The Idaho Health Plan Coverage for Children, formerly known as the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP), provides low or no cost health coverage for doctor visits, prescriptions, vision screening, immunizations, dental benefits and other health needs for children up to age 19.
Children who qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program would most likely also qualify for the health coverage. According to the guidelines for 2009, a youth under the age of 19 can qualify if his or her income is less than $1670 per month. A two person family can make up to $2,247 and a family of four can have a monthly income of $3400 and still qualify. A family of six can make up to $4553 per month. Income from step-parents, grandparents, custodians, and legal guardians does not count. Only parents’ income is figured.
An application form or more information is available by calling the Idaho Careline, 2-1-1 or visiting www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov . According to the website, SCHIP is a health coverage program for children under age 19 whose family income is too high to qualify for Medicaid. There may be a small monthly cost for SCHIP coverage ($10.00 or $15.00, depending on income) for each child who receives SCHIP. Information is also available by visiting the local Idaho Department of Health and Welfare field offices.
“Both our hospitals have financial counselors who are more than willing to answer questions or to help families with the application process,” said Jeanette Gorman, SMH/CVH Community Relations Coordinator. “Parents have enough to worry about these days. Having their children covered with health insurance can take that particular worry away. When a child is covered it is so much easier to make health care decisions based on need, rather than on financial considerations.”
The hospital’s financial counselors can be reached by calling SMH in Cottonwood, 962-3251 or CVH in Orofino, 476-4555.