Insure-A-Kid Pushes for All Texas Students To Have Health Insurance - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/11/05

Insure-A-Kid Pushes for All Texas Students To Have Health Insurance

Roughly 3,700, or 13% of Lubbock ISD students do not have health insurance. However, before "Insure-A-Kid" was introduced a year and a half ago, the number was greater. The program educates parents on health insurance options such as CHIP and Children's Medicaid. Local health care providers say health coverage is vital to our community.

"It has been extremely busy the last three weeks," said Monterey High School Registered Nurse, Joan Ketchem.

She said many kids are spending more time in the nurse's office complaining of flu-like symptoms.

The 80% of Lubbock ISD students who have some sort of health insurance can often get a prescription for a drug that shortens the span of the flu. However, the 13% of students who don't have health insurance may not have that option.

Ketchum said that can affect their accomplishments where it counts.

"The better you feel, the better you're going to perform, as an adult or as a student," said Ketchem.

This year, Lubbock ISD started offering brochures and other pieces of information on the Insure-A-Kid program at fall registrations.

Lubbock Insure-A-Kid Coordinator, Amy Berry said uninsured children are 25% more likely to miss school due to an untreated illness. She said those untreated illnesses can often get worse for both the child and family.

"Students get behind in school because they're missing class. Parents have to miss work sometimes to take kids to the doctor or to stay home with a sick child," said Berry.

Insure-A-Kid offers information on CHIP and Children's Medicaid. For $25 or less you can get many benefits, including regular check ups, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospital services.

"So it's a great resource for a lot of families and we're working hard to make sure we get the word out," said Berry.

Out of more than 1,500 students at Monterey High, 10% do not have insurance.

Ketchem is a mother of two, and she says she can't fathom her kids not having that option.

"I can't imagine that, I had the insurance and so it was not a choice of do I take my child to the doctor or do I buy food," said Ketchem.

Lubbock Cooper and Roosevelt School Districts also started offering information on Insure-A-Kid at fall registrations this year.

You can get brochures and information in the nurse's office at your child's school.

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