Letter to the Editor:
As the coordinator of the Covering Kids and Families Toledo Project, I would like to address an important public health issue in Lucas County: the number of parents, children, and pregnant women that are eligible for free health insurance through Healthy Start Healthy Families but not enrolled.
I urge eligible families to take advantage of the Healthy Start Healthy Families program. Astoundingly, almost 17 percent of adults and 10 percent of kids (even higher among minorities) in Lucas County reported that they did not have health insurance in 2003, primarily because they were not offered insurance through their employer or it was not affordable.
Many of these uninsured parents, children, and expectant moms are eligible for free health coverage through Healthy Start Healthy Families. Coverage is based on family size and income. For example, kids in a family of four are eligible if the household income is under about $39,000/year. Benefits include medical and dental visits, prescriptions, prenatal care, vision and hearing tests, mental health services, diagnostic tests, and more. The application is simple and can be completed through the mail.
The need for health coverage is especially important at his time of the year when cold and flu season is upon us. It is vital to address these health concerns in a timely manner with a primary care physician, before they become so advanced that they require expensive hospital care.
For more information, income guidelines, to have an application sent, or to start the application process, families can go to WTOL.com and search for “Healthy Start.” They can also call the Neighborhood Health Association’s Healthy Start Healthy Families Help Line at (419) 241-HEALTH or at (419) 241-SALUD for Spanish-speakers.
Please let your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues know about the availability of free health coverage for children, parents, and expectant women to help ensure that those who need health care services receive them.
JULI MCCARROLL, Coordinator
Covering Kids and Families Program
Neighborhood Health Association
(419) 259-4512 x218