Child Health Plus Program Reaches Enrollment Milestone - State Health Commissioner Urges Onondaga County Families to Discover CHP
Syracuse, October 27, 1999 - New York State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D. today announced that New York has reached a new milestone with its nationally-recognized Child Health Plus insurance program. Enrollment has doubled since 1998, topping the 400,000 mark and exceeding child health insurance enrollment in any other state.
Urging Onondaga County families to look into New York's innovative children's health insurance program, Dr. Novello said, "In only four years, we have quadrupled the number of children in Child Health Plus. This is a tremendous accomplishment. Quality health care is one of the most precious gifts we can give our children because every child needs a healthy start in life. Healthy children miss fewer school days, they do better in school and enjoy a happier childhood."
"We are fortunate to live in a state where every child has access to health insurance," the State Health Commissioner said. "I applaud Governor Pataki's leadership in expanding New York's efforts to provide needy children with comprehensive health insurance coverage. We want all families to know that New York is committed to having their children grow up healthy and strong. That is why we are working diligently to enroll every eligible uninsured youngster in Child Health Plus."
Recently the Governor announced nearly $4 million in state grants to 34 community-based agencies to help New York families enroll their children in state insurance programs including Child Health Plus and Medicaid.
"These awards will help ensure that New York's uninsured children will soon have access to vital health care" said Dr. Novello. "No other state in the nation is enrolling more children in its Child Health insurance program or is providing the level of state resources for children's health."
The community-based agencies or facilitated enrollers will provide families with necessary information about eligibility, assist them in completing the application and route the required paperwork to either the health plan for enrollment in Child Health Plus or the local social services district for enrollment in Medicaid. In the case of Medicaid, the facilitated enrollers will be authorized to conduct the Medicaid interview and provide information to families on managed care options under both Medicaid and Child Health Plus.
Through intensive outreach and advertising efforts, initiated by Governor Pataki, monthly enrollment in Child Health Plus has increased nearly ten-fold in four years. Current monthly enrollment is more than 10,000 per month, up from 1,200 children per month in 1996.
In addition to facilitated enrollment efforts, New York is conducting a mass media marketing and outreach campaign with paid television, radio and print advertising, billboards, brochures and other information materials.
Under Governor Pataki's leadership, state support for the Child Health Plus program that has risen from $82 million in 1996 to $207 in 1999. The State spending is augmented by a total of $256 million annual federal funding.
Child Health Plus serves families with children under the age of 19 who are not eligible for Medicaid. The insurance program covers a vast array of services including physician visits, hospitalization, immunizations, x-rays, lab tests, outpatient surgery, emergency care, prescription drugs, physical and occupational therapy, and outpatient treatment for alcohol or substance abuse.
Program premiums are based on family income and is free for a family of four making less than $26,254. Families whose incomes are less than $37,901 are eligible for premium subsidies. The Child Health Program offers assistance and information through a toll-free hotline, 1-800-698-4543.