UNINSURED CHILDREN: Toll-Free Number for CHIP, Medicaid
President Clinton and the nation's governors will announce today a toll-free nationwide telephone number to boost enrollment in Medicaid and the lagging Children's Health Insurance Plans, with corporations like Kmart, General Motors and Spanish-language network Univision joining in the effort. The New York Times reports that callers to 877-KIDS-NOW (877-543-7669) "will be automatically connected to the Medicaid agency or the health department of the state" from which they are calling. The White House estimates that at least half of the 10.7 million uninsured children in the U.S. are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. The move by President Clinton and the governors reflects a recognition that government has not "fully exploited the potential" of its CHIP and Medicaid enrollment efforts. Approximately 15% of children lacked health insurance of any kind in 1997, including 23.8% of poor children, up from 13.8% and 21.4%, respectively, in 1995 (Pear, 2/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.