Media Advisory: Child Health Plus Enrollment Event Seeks Out All Uninsured Rochester Area Children in Health Insurance

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (Oct. 16, 2008) - As a result of legislation approved by Governor David A. Paterson and the State Legislature, children in families with annual incomes up to $70,000 for a family of three ($84,000 for family of four) are now eligible to obtain subsidized health coverage under New York's Child Health Plus insurance program. (See attached Fact Sheet).

On Friday, October 17, at noon, at the United Way of Greater Rochester, 754 College Ave., state Health Department Associate Commissioner Sheila K. Kee will speak with the media and answer questions regarding the importance of providing coverage to the 13,500 children living in Monroe County without health insurance. In addition, approximately 20 community-based organizations will participate in the Department's health insurance outreach and enrollment training session. At the session, participants will learn successful techniques for identifying uninsured children and linking them to Child Health Plus or Medicaid.

New York Medicaid is a free health insurance program for low-income, uninsured children. Child Health Plus is free or low-cost health insurance for uninsured children in families who don't qualify for Medicaid. Parents whose children don't qualify for free coverage pay a monthly premium ranging from $9 to $40 per child per month, depending on income.

Who

The New York State Department of Health will hold a health insurance outreach and enrollment training session for community-based organizations. Joining Associate Commissioner Kee will be Pastor Glenn Alexander, Holy City International Church of God in Christ; Mary Rose Gaughan, MS, RN, insurance outreach and enrollment specialist, state Department of Health; and Sarah Amering, director of the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection.

What

Press Availability regarding New York's expanded Child Health Plus Program.

Where

United Way of Greater Rochester, 75 College Ave., Rochester

When

Friday, October 17, at 12:00 p.m.

"The lack of health insurance is one of the key reasons why there are disparities in accessing health care services. Governor Paterson believes that with this increase, every family in New York State should be able to access health care coverage for their uninsured children," said Sheila K. Kee, Associate Commissioner.

"The enthusiasm within our community and ministry for providing greater access to health care coverage has been very positive. We've extended the olive branch and we've witnessed our families taking a holistic approach that includes not only physical and mental wellness, but also a spiritual well being," said Pastor Glenn Alexander.

NOTE: Hillside-area youths who have been trained in outreach techniques will provide students attending the John Marshall vs. Gates-Chili high school football game with information on how their parents can enroll them in Child Health Plus. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday at St. John Fisher College's Growney Stadium. A health fair will be held at the stadium showcasing local health care providers who participate in Child Health Plus. These professionals will help parents apply for health insurance and answer questions regarding both Child Health Plus and Medicaid. There will be music and games courtesy of R&B radio station WDKX 103.9FM, and appearances by the Rochester Razor Sharks and the Rochester Raiders.