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September 10, 1999

Ryan Awards Funds For KidCare Outreach Efforts

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today announced awards of nearly $70,000 each to 29 community agencies and organizations for outreach efforts to locate and enroll hard to reach children and pregnant women into Illinois' KidCare Program.

"KidCare will be a success once we have signed up as many people who are eligible for this program as we can," said Ryan. "To do that, we need community involvement to reach our objective of providing quality healthcare for everyone."

This year, the state will spend $5 million to spread the word about KidCare, with $1.6 million in grants available to help community organizations, schools and congregations with their sign-up efforts.

KidCare is a program designed to provide health insurance coverage to eligible children and pregnant women. This includes the homeless and low-income citizens living in rural locations with no medical providers.

In August, Ryan signed House Bill 1399 and House Bill 1739 requiring state government to interact with local governments, schools, businesses, labor unions, congregations and community organizations to help increase enrollments in the state's health insurance program for children.

The agencies receiving the funding have strong ties to local communities, have demonstrated knowledge of how to reach eligible people and have a strategic plan for obtaining applications.

Uninsured children in families with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for KidCare coverage through Medicaid. Uninsured children in families with incomes between 133 percent and 185 percent of the federal poverty level can qualify for "KidCare Share," health insurance coverage for working families that includes co-payments by enrolled families, or "KidCare Premium," which includes co-payments and monthly premiums. These families can receive up to $75 per child every month as a rebate for private health insurance premiums paid by the family.

The federal poverty level represents an annual income of $22,211 to $30,895 for a family of four. Eligibility is determined by the state, with designated Department of Public Aid staff monitoring contracts for compliance with state and federal law.

For more information on KidCare, call the Illinois Department of Public Aid at 1-800-226-0768.


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