HEALTHY CHILDREN MAKE BETTER STUDENTS, SO MAKE SURE HEALTH INSURANCE IS ON YOUR CHILD'S BACK-TO- SCHOOL LIST
Free and Low-Cost Health Insurance Options Provided at HudsonValley Events in August and September
(Tarrytown, NY) When school starts, parents routinely provide their children with new backpacks, sneakers, notebooks, and pencils. But many parents overlook one thing that can really help their child perform academically - health insurance. Uninsured children are more likely than insured children to suffer negative health consequences that hurt school performance because they don't get the medical attention they need, according a study released last week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
"Without regular medical care, children often are less healthy and miss more school, particularly if they have a chronic disease such as asthma," explains Georganne Chapin, President and CEO of Hudson Health Plan. "It's clear that one of the best things a parent can do to help a child do better in school is to make sure the child has health insurance."
In 2003, only 32.7 percent of children without health insurance saw a doctor, compared with 87.5 percent of children with insurance, according to the RWJF study. Sadly, more than 70 percent of children without insurance could be eligible for government-sponsored insurance, such as Child Health Plus and Medicaid. The problem is that many working parents with modest incomes are unaware they might qualify for these programs, Ms. Chapin says. "All children under the age of 19 who are legal residents of New York State are eligible for coverage at a very low cost or, in the case of Medicaid, no cost. Children of undocumented immigrants also are eligible for these programs," she says.
About 16 percent children 18 and under in the Hudson Valley do not have health insurance, a significantly higher number than in the United States and New York State as a whole, where the figures are, respectively, approximately 11.4 percent and 10 percent, according the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In August and September, representatives from Hudson Health Plan, a not-for-profit managed care organization that provides Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus, will be visiting events in the Hudson Valley to answer questions and discuss free and low-cost health insurance options for children, families, and individuals. Residents will be able to talk to them at the following events:
Marist College Health & Wellness Fair, 3399 North Road, Poughkeepsie
Friday, Sept. 9, noon to 4 p.m.
10th Annual Community Day, Route 83, Hamlet Recreation Fields, East Fishkill
Saturday, Sept. 17, noon to 8 p.m.
Otisville Country Fair, Otisville
Saturday, Aug. 27 and Sunday, Aug. 28, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
School is Cool Back-to-School Bash, Delano-Hitch Stadium, Newburgh
Saturday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Teen Solution Block Party, Mullins Apartment, Newburgh
Saturday, Sept. 3, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
17th Annual City of Newburgh International Waterfront Festival, Marine Drive, Newburgh
Saturday, Sept. 3, and Sunday, Sept. 4, noon to 11 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 5, noon to 10 p.m.
Monroe Cheese Festival, location to be announced shortly, Monroe
Saturday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
General Montgomery Day Parade and Festival, Route 211, Montgomery
Saturday, Sept. 10
Walden Harvest Festival, Village Center, Walden
Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Access Medical Center Health Fair, 59 Windsor Highway, New Windsor
Saturday, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Suffern Street Fair, Chestnut Street, Suffern
Sunday, Sept. 18th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Annual International Festival, Main Street, Haverstraw
Sunday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Salsa y Salud, 9 Monticello Street, Monticello
Saturday, August 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Blueberry Festival 2005, Main Street, Ellenville
Saturday, August 27, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, August 28.
Ecuadorian Heritage Festival, Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson
Sunday, Aug. 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Port Chester Day, Lincoln Park, Port Chester
Saturday, Sept. 10
One World Arts & Culture Festival, Paramount Center for the Arts, Peekskill
Thursday, Sept. 15, 4:30 to late evening
Friday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m. to approximately10 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17, 4 p.m. to approximately 9 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Arts on Third, Third Street, Mount Vernon
Sunday, Sept. 25, noon to 7 p.m.
Children Need Regular Medical Care
It is particularly important for children to be under the regular care of a physician, Ms. Chapin notes. Children who regularly visit a doctor are more likely to receive timely immunizations, lead screening, eye exams, and dental care, among many other beneficial services. Their pediatricians also can screen for possible developmental problems and chronic conditions that can affect school performance. Additionally, physicians are able to evaluate a child's nutritional habits and re-enforce the importance of using bicycle helmets. Ms. Chapin notes that adolescents in particular benefit by having a regular relationship with a physician. "They're more apt to listen when someone they trust talks to them about the consequences of risky behavior such as substance abuse and unprotected sex."
About Hudson Health Plan
Founded in the mid-1980s by a coalition of community health centers, Hudson Health Plan works to serve the best interests of its members and providers. The Tarrytown based not-for-profit organization has approximately 55,000 members in Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, and Dutchess counties in the lower Hudson Valley. A leader among health plans, Hudson Health Plan has been driving health care innovation in the Hudson Valley by actively promoting quality health care, developing new technology to streamline enrollment into and the administration of Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus.
Hudson Health Plan is the winner of the 2005 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Corporate Award for diversity from the YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester; the 2005 Advancements in Health Care Award from Hudson Valley Life and Hudson Valley Parent; and the 2003 Community Leadership Award from New York Health Plan Association.