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Mayor Brown Supports Child Health Plus Enrollment Event
As a result of legislation approved by Governor David A. Paterson and the State Legislature, children in families with annual incomes up to $70,000 for a family of three ($84,000 for family of four) are now eligible to obtain subsidized health coverage under New York's Child Health Plus insurance program.
“Statewide, there are 434,000 children lacking health insurance, 14,200 of these children live in Erie County,” said Mayor Brown. “With the expansion Of New York’s Child Health Plus program all uninsured children and teens are eligible for health care coverage through Child Health Plus and Medicaid. Additionally, there are 72,700 uninsured adults in the county. Many are eligible for coverage through Medicaid and Family Health Plus and it is critically important that we get this message out to the community.”
The Western Regional Office is organizing a door-to-door campaign between community organizations and health insurance enrollers to connect children and their parents to health insurance. So far the project has generated more than 4,500 health insurance referrals, but more work remains.
On Saturday, October 25th, Mayor Brown joined local officials and community groups at a Health Insurance Outreach and Training session. The training session was held at the Boys and Girls Club, Southside Clubhouse at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 17 Tamarack St. After the training, teams went out through targeted neighborhoods to identify the uninsured people of the City of Buffalo and helped connect them to health coverage.
At the session, participants learned about successful techniques for identifying uninsured children and linking them to no cost or low cost health insurance. Trainers explained how community based organization can play a vital role in this dynamic project, which is the first of its kind in New York State.
Participating community based agencies involved in this city effort are: the Valley Community Association, South Buffalo Alive, Old First Ward Community Association, Buffalo Board of Block Clubs, Seneca Babcock Community Center, the Buffalo B Team and Boys and Girls Clubs. In addition, Erie County Legislator Timothy Kennedy is assisting this effort.
New York Medicaid is a free health insurance program for low-income, uninsured children. Child Health Plus is free or low-cost health insurance for uninsured children in families who don't qualify for Medicaid. Parents whose children don't qualify for free coverage pay a monthly premium ranging from $9 to $40 per child per month, depending on income.
“The lack of health insurance is one of the key reasons why there are disparities in accessing health care services. Governor Paterson believes that with this increase, every family in New York State should be able to access health care coverage for their uninsured children,” said Sheila K. Kee, Associate Commissioner, New York State Department of Health.
© 2001-2011 City of Buffalo
Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios