DHH LaCHIP Events Seek to Reach Uninsured Children in New Orleans Area

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(New Orleans, LA) – Recently awarded a $955K federal grant to enroll uninsured children, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has planned activities to raise awareness of LaCHIP, the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program. Enrollment “blitz” activities will take place on November 2, 3, 6 and 7, with the annual LaCHIP conference taking place mid-week, from November 4 through November 6. This year’s conference events include informative guest speakers, new break out sessions, hot topics and other information that will benefit those who help promote LaCHIP.

The blitzing activities aim to enroll as many eligible local children in public health insurance plans to help them lead healthier lives. DHH employees and community partners from across the state will work throughout the area surrounding New Orleans to assist families in insuring their children through LaCHIP. DHH was awarded $955,681 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to find and enroll 10,000 uninsured children who are eligible for either Medicaid or LaCHIP by 2011. Projects funded by the grant will target parishes affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav, as well as children in rural areas and children in Hispanic families.

“Having healthy children begins with having access to health care coverage,” said LaCHIP Director Ruth Kennedy. “Presently there are an estimated 15,000 uninsured children in the New Orleans area. These events are devoted to those children and the thousands more without coverage throughout the state.”

During the outreach event, blitz team members will distribute applications and inform the public about both no-cost and low-cost LaCHIP insurance plans. These mobile units will make stops at businesses, churches, daycare centers, grocery stores, banks and community centers throughout the area. The public is invited to visit with LaCHIP professionals, who will set up on-site stationary locations throughout the area to update information on active enrollees, answer questions about LaCHIP and other Medicaid programs, renew applications, and perform on-the-spot qualification for new applicants.

LaCHIP, which covers children until age 19, is among the best known and most successful of Medicaid programs. LaCHIP provides for physician visits, pharmacy costs, hospital stays and many other medical expenses in a network of providers.

During blitzes and other outreach events, regional Medicaid office employees check all applications not just for LaCHIP eligibility, but for all Medicaid programs which could benefit families. This includes the LaCHIP Affordable Plan, a program launched in 2008 to cover children in households earning an annual income up to 250 percent of the federal poverty rate (or about $55,000 for a family of four).

For more information on LaCHIP, call 1-877-2LaCHIP (1-877-252-2447) or visit online at www.lachip.org.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals serves to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visitwww.dhh.louisiana.gov.