No health insurance? Program offers coverage to uninsured residents

B y Krystle S. Morey

 

There’s a new way to find family health insurance locally, which is important because the area has an unusually high number of uninsured residents.

Families throughout the Adirondacks and the Capital Region can now self-screen themselves for health insurance eligibility under a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services.

“The grant focuses on children, but wherever there’s a child, there’s a family,” said Gail Danforth, program manager for the Children’s Health Insurance Connection for the Adirondack Health Institute in Queensbury.

The grant allows the CHIC program to offer both free, online enrollment from any computer as well as onsite consultations at participating community outreach centers around the area. The original screening takes just five minutes to complete, followed by a meeting with a representative to finish the process.

“Families who have Internet access can screen themselves and complete 90 percent of the process at home,” said Courtney Smith, CHIC’s access coordinator.

Community partners, such as Granville Family Health, Washington County Head Start and the Whitehall Farmers’ Market host both scheduled screenings and appointments. The partners provide a place to meet and access to computers for families without Internet.

“We are giving families another tool in their toolbox,” Smith said. “All you need is proof of identification and proof of address.”

The cost of insurance and eligibility for families are based on income and the options can be viewed using the private portal screening tool. Danforth said insurance plans also differ by county.

 

Next steps

Once the online application is processed, participants will receive a phone call from AHI within 24 hours.

AHI is a “lead source agency” that helps families in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren and Washington counties get health care. It is not an insurance carrier. AHI works with families to keep their regular doctors and works with them to check compatibility with the health care plans they are eligible for. Within 30-40 days of approval, participants will receive an insurance card in the mail.

“We are a separate party that helps families to facilitate enrollment,” Danforth said.

Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, insurance companies cannot deny coverage to children. All children who are New York residents under the age of 19 are eligible for health insurance under the Child Health Plus plan. Under the law, all Americans are expected to either pay for health insurance by 2014 or be subject to an annual monetary penalty.

Although the exact numbers of insured change daily, the overall statistics show that 9.3 percent of residents birth to age 18 and 17.1 percent of adults 19-64 are uninsured in Washington county. “The percentage of people in our region from birth to 64 without health insurance exceeds state and national rates,” Danforth said, based on the 2008-09 census.

“Our goal is to increase the number of children and families enrolled,” Smith said.

For more information and screening options, visit www.adirondackhealthinstitute.org/childrens-health-insurance-connection or call 1-866-872-3740 ext. 32901 to schedule an appointment.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

Weekender – 03/27/15

Northshire Freepress – 03/27/15

Lakes Region Freepress – 03/27/15

North Country Freepress – 03/27/15

Classifieds 03/25/14

Search for Sasquatch resumes, forty years later

Statue 2

By Dan King It’s been 40 years since the first reported Sasquatch sighting in Whitehall and now the quest to […]

Apathy leaves trustee seat vacant

Candidate pic Ken Bartholomew

By Dan King Whitehall’s mayor-elect, Ken Bartholomew was hoping someone would emerge to take his old trustee position, but that […]

Jane O’Shea resigns, cites issues with board

Jane O'Shea BW

By Derek Liebig A Granville principal is resigning at the end of the school year because of a disagreement over […]

Whitehall Elks honor three for service

New Elks officers are sworn into office

By Dan King Ken McKee, an old Whitehall Elk, used to tell his kids that the acronym BPOE stood for […]

Reelected, incumbents face challenges

By Derek Liebig Members of the Granville Village Board will be together for at least two more years. Incumbents Dean […]

Keough to plant community garden

Jensen Keough

By Dan King A Whitehall High School student has come up with a creative way to support local charity and […]

Whitehall school officials want bobsled club back

By Dan King Until this year, Whitehall High School was the only school in the country with a bobsled club, […]