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Victory for Arizona Families As No More Freeze on KidsCare: First Day of Health Coverage Begins Tomorrow

August 31, 2016

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(Phoenix, AZ) Working families across Arizona will now be able to take their children to the doctor without fear of going broke, thanks to lawmakers lifting the freeze on KidsCare, Arizona’s own version of the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Until the law reinstating KidsCare was passed and signed in May of this year, Arizona was the only state in the nation that did not offer a CHIP to working families who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS here), yet could not afford to purchase plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace or private market.

Families can apply for KidsCare at any time as enrollment is ongoing and not capped.

Because KidsCare has been unavailable to new applicants since 2010, families who are currently eligible may not know they can now apply for their children. Children’s Action Alliance, along with community partners who fought to lift the freeze on KidsCare, are kicking off an aggressive outreach effort to spread the word to parents that KidsCare is once again open to enrollment and an affordable option for families who qualify.

Public awareness efforts will include radio PSAs, community events, and digital and social media ads, as well as take home collateral and word-of-mouth campaigns, all encouraging parents to visit www.CoverAZ.org or call 1-800-377-3536 to schedule a convenient appointment for free, professional help to apply. Computer-savvy parents can also apply on their own at www.HealthEArizonaPlus.gov.

“For too long, working families have struggled with premiums, deductibles and co-pays that have made it difficult for them to get proper medical care for their children,” said Dana Wolfe Naimark, president and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance. “It’s good for kids to see a doctor as soon as they are feeling sick: it prevents minor illnesses from getting worse, keeps children from missing too much school and parents from having to take time off work to stay home with sick kids. This is nothing but good for families and Arizona overall.”

AHCCCS officials have estimated more than 30,000 Arizona children are likely to be enrolled in KidsCare during the first year.