Local News

New Health Care Program Covers Uninsured Children

Posted April 1, 1999

— Do you work, but still can't afford health insurance for your kids? A state program can help, but the problem is that not many people know about it.

For example, 27-year-old Angela Stahl is a single mother with two young children. Because she has a job, she does not qualify for Medicaid. Still, she could not afford health insurance for her children.

"I've got a lot of medical bills that pile up and I didn't know what I was going to do because I couldn't afford to get insurance from work for my children," Stahl said.

Last week, however, Stahl was approved forNorth Carolina Health Choice, a free program with modest co-payments. The state launched the program in October to cover 71,000 uninsured children.

A day after she was approved, one of Stahl's sons had to go to the emergency room.

"To know that they have this, and that I wasn't going to have to pay anything for his visit, was a big relief," Stahl said.

There are income guidelines. For example, a family of four cannot make more than $32,904 to qualify.

There are more than 3,000 kids inWake Countywho are eligible for this type of health insurance, but only 35 percent of them have been approved for the program.

Many people still do not know about the program so Wake County officials plan to share this relief with even more parents in the coming months.

"The focus for North Carolina Health Choice is to reach those working parents who are trying to make ends meet, trying to provide for their families and with insurance premiums cannot do that," said Beth Jenkins, a leader of the Health Choice Coalition.

Members of theWake County Human Services Departmentwill go door-to-door on April 17, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to make people aware of the program and to sign them up for the program.

People interested can call1-800-367-2229for more information on how to apply for North Carolina Health Choice.

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