Campaign aims to help low-income West Virginia children access health insurance

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new outreach campaign in West Virginia aims to help low-income families obtain and maintain health insurance coverage for their children.

The campaign, Connecting Kids to Coverage West Virginia, launched Monday at CAMC’s Women and Children’s Hospital in Charleston.

It’s a $1.48 million three-year campaign funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services campaign and led by Think Kids, Inc. to encourage eligible kids to enroll in Medicaid and CHIP.

“Most families were used to enrolling every year in the program. Now they haven’t had to, some families since 2019, so we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of kids who will need to re-enroll in these programs,” said Kelli Caseman, executive director of Think Kids.

Caseman said it’s important for kids to have health insurance in case they have come down with an illness or need medical attention immediately.

“They may show up in an ER which could become very costly for a family, so it’s not just for peace of mind, but it’s ensuring the kids are staying healthy,” Caseman said.

That includes preventative care, Caseman said.

“We want to see as many kids as possible in the state accessing preventative care, so they’re getting their immunizations, they’re going in for their annual well-child exam, and if there’s something that is a persistent ailment, that they’ll go seek care so it can be addressed early,” she said.

Caseman said this is a statewide effort.

“What we’re trying to do is blanket the state with information and then strategically target outreach coordinators in areas where we think kids may be falling through the cracks,” she said.

The following organizations are participating in the effort including: the WV American Academy of Pediatricians, Partnership of African American Churches, Kanawha County Schools, the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, Step by Step, Inc., WV Afterschool Network, and many others around the state.

To find out if you’re eligible and to get involved in the campaign, CLICK HERE.

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