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Communications - Press Room

For Immediate Release:August 1, 2020
For More Information:
Nancy Tonkin—304-345-6808
Gary Zuckett—304-659-3663

Do Your Kids Have Health Care Coverage?
Back-to-School Enrollment Drive Targets Uninsured Kids

(Parkersburg, WV) Before the school year begins, the West Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition (WVHKC) is launching its annual Back-to-School enrollment drive to encourage parents with uninsured children to put enrolling for CHIP or Medicaid at the top of their back-to-school checklists.

"Kids who have health care coverage are better prepared to learn in school," said Governor Bob Wise. "That’s why enrolling uninsured children in CHIP or Medicaid should be a top priority for parents as they prepare to send their kids back to school. The coverage offered through CHIP or Medicaid means health security for kids and peace of mind for parents."

There are 28,371 children (6.6 percent) in West Virginia on any given day without health insurance. At least seventy four percent (22,000) may be eligible for low-cost or free health care coverage offered through CHIP or Medicaid. Many families are not aware that their children may qualify for coverage. In West Virginia, a family of four can earn up to $36,200 a year or more and qualify for CHIP or Medicaid. Eligibility is based on family size and income.

The West Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition and its partners will be stepping up their efforts to increase the number of children enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid starting August 1 and continuing through September 31st. There are over 30 outreach and enrollment events planned throughout the state for families. These efforts are part of a nationwide Back-to-School enrollment drive launched by Covering Kids, a national initiative to connect uninsured children with low-cost and free health care coverage programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

There are more than 8 million uninsured children in the U.S., yet MOST of them are eligible for low-cost or free children’s health care coverage through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid.

Children enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid will receive benefits such as doctor visits, dental care, and hospitalization.

"The comprehensive coverage offered through CHIP helps to keep my kids healthy," said Cindi Sampe, a mother from Wood County whose six children are currently enrolled in CHIP. My husband’s company folded and we found ourselves without health insurance for us and for our kids. CHIP gives us the peace of mind that an accident with one of the kids will not cause us to lose our house or go bankrupt. I encourage all parents who do not have health care insurance for their children to apply."

Kids with health care coverage are better prepared to learn
- MOST children in America’s classrooms who are uninsured are eligible for low-cost or free children’s health insurance.
- Parents of uninsured children are seven times more likely to be forced to delay or not get medical care for their kids than parents whose children have health insurance.
- Uninsured children are less likely to receive proper medical care for sore throats, earaches, and asthma—common childhood illnesses that are often the cause of school absence.


To find out if your child is eligible for low cost or free health care coverage, call toll-free 1-877-WVA-CHIP (1-877-982-2447).

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