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AZ’s Restored KidsCare Program Taking Applications

The reinstated KidsCare program provides health insurance at low or no cost to as many as 30,000 Arizona children. (iStockphoto)
The reinstated KidsCare program provides health insurance at low or no cost to as many as 30,000 Arizona children. (iStockphoto)
July 26, 2016

PHOENIX - Arizona's KidsCare health insurance program, reinstated earlier this year, is taking applications starting today for coverage that begins September 1st. The program is designed to provide health care coverage for children in families that make too much for Medicaid, also called AHCCCS, but not enough for health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Pati Urias, communications specialist for the Children's Action Alliance, said the program could provide health insurance for as many as 30,000 currently uninsured Arizona kids.

"A lot of families find that the private plans are unaffordable for them," she said. "So this is a really great option for families who do need something that will cover the children and either cost very little or cost nothing at all."

Urias said studies have shown that uninsured children perform worse in school than insured children, are less likely to receive preventive care, miss more days of school due to illness and are at greater risk for developmental delays.

Urias say that Arizona currently has one of the highest percentages of uninsured children in the country. She said the KidsCare program was very successful in Arizona for a number of years, but the state was forced to cut back on the program during the Great Recession.

"This is a particular program that was frozen back in 2010," she added. "So for the past six years, children's advocates, as well as health advocates, have worked very, very hard to get this program reinstated."

Urias said KidsCare covers children in families with incomes from 138 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or between 27,000 and 40,000 dollars a year for a family of three. She said the best way to determine eligibility is to set up an appointment through coveraz.org/connector or by calling 1-800-377-3536.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ