Parents: Get kids enrolled in health insurance now

The month of November is the time that many U.S. workers select their families’ health insurance benefits for the coming year — and parents of HISD students are no exception.

The Open Enrollment period for 2016 coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) runs from Nov. 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016, but did you know that eight out of every ten people who enrolled in health coverage plans through qualified for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable?

HISD’s Health and Medical Services Department can help parents apply for no- or low-cost health insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Even if children were turned down or didn’t qualify in the past, they may be eligible for health coverage now. And that’s important when it comes to student performance in the classroom.

“Identifying health problems early helps with school success,” said Manager of Health and Medical Services Gwendolyn Johnson. “A child with untreated health problems is more likely to experience cognitive, behavioral, or physical disabilities, which can impede the learning process. Early health screening (provided through basic preventive care) is essential to intervention. Reports tell us the children covered by health insurance have health screenings at a rate that is 28-percent higher than uninsured children.”

Recently released U.S. Census data shows that Texas still has the highest rate of uninsured people, the highest number of uninsured people, the second-highest rate of uninsured children, and is home to more uninsured children than any other state in the country.

“We expect schools to be successful in educating every child despite the odds stacked against them,” added Laura Guerra-Cardus from the Children’s Defense Fund. “With more than 1.7 million Texas children living in poverty and nearly 784,000 Texas children lacking healthcare coverage, schools experience first-hand when children aren’t feeling well or coming to school ready to learn.”

For assistance enrolling in Medicaid or CHIP, please contact HISD Outreach Worker Kaiya Liddell at 713-556-7280. Please note that families with children who qualify for coverage through Medicaid or CHIP may enroll at any time and are not subject to the Jan. 31 Open Enrollment deadline. HISD employees should contact the Benefits Department at 713-556-6655 for assistance with their insurance questions.

2 thoughts on “Parents: Get kids enrolled in health insurance now

  1. Alise Harper

    Both my husband and I still qualify being on our parents health insurance plan. I am currently 32 weeks pregnant with our first child and am confused about how health insurance works for children. I like how you mentioned children’s health insurance program (CHIP). How old do kids have to be to be eligible to qualify for CHIP? Thanks for the information!

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