What’s on our back-to-school list? #1 Connect all kids with health insurance coverage!

01 September 2017 Written by  

It’s back to school time for kids across Utah. One of the most important things we can do to help all kids have a successful school year is to help them stay healthy. Kids who have untreated illnesses or chronic conditions are more likely to stay home from school and fall behind in the classroom. Kids in need of glasses have a harder time learning. And tooth pain is one of the top reasons kids miss school. We need to make sure all kids get regular access to affordable care and treatment, and all parents feel safe and welcome signing their kids up for school. So what’s on our list?

  • Connect all kids with health coverage insurance. Call 211 or visit org to find out what options might be available for your kids or kids you know.
  • Extend CHIP funding! Congress needs to extend CHIP funding by the end of September, and time is running out. 20,000 Utah kids rely on CHIP for their health insurance coverage. Give our Utah Senators and Representatives a call and tell them the time is now to renew their commitment to kids & families’ health coverage.
  • Continue to protect Medicaid. The CHIP program rests on the shoulders of Medicaid. Medicaid provides coverage to almost 200,000 kids. We need to make sure that the program stays strong and continues to provide foundational coverage to kids.
  • Create a welcoming environment in your school and your community. Medicaid and CHIP are health insurance programs that are available to ALL KIDS who meet the eligibility requirements. No child or family should feel unsafe signing up their kids for health coverage or getting healthcare. Learn more about how to make sure your school is connected with the right information, so kids can get the care they need.
  • Help all parents get covered too! Why is this on our back-to-school list? Because it’s a basic equation: healthy parents= healthy kids. When parents are sick, or stressed by costly medical bills, that hurts the whole family. Parents need to have access to affordable insurance, and we need to remove any barriers that make it harder for kids and parents to stay insured, like work requirements, enrollment limits and eligibility complications.

Thanks to CHIP and Medicaid we are at a historic low for uninsured kids in our state! 93% of all kids are insured in Utah. Let’s get to 100%. Together we can create policies that help all kids have a healthy, successful school year.

JessieJessie Mandle, Senior Health Policy Analyst, joined the organization in 2015. Prior to joining Voices for Utah Children, Jessie was a Senior Program Planner with the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, where she focused on nutrition and Out of School Time areas. Jessie also worked as a policy researcher in Johannesburg, South Africa and oversaw a CDC grant for Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services in Portland, Oregon. Most recently, she worked with the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Cancer Action Network. Jessie has a Master's degree in Public Heath from Portland State University and a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.