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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2000

Governor Proclaims August KidCare Awareness Month

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today marked "KidCare Month" in Illinois by reminding parents that KidCare is available if their children are not covered by health insurance.

"At this time of year when children are being registered for classes and need physicals, it's a perfect time to look at your families' health care needs now and for the future," Governor Ryan said. During Ryan's administration, efforts to increase the enrollment have resulted in a tripling of the number of families in the program.

"Our goal is to make it easy for families to understand KidCare and how vital it is for children to have access to quality health care regardless of family income," Ryan said.

KidCare is a state health insurance program that offers health coverage to children and pregnant women. KidCare also helps to pay premiums to employer-sponsored or private insurance plans. Those who qualify are children and adolescents through the age of 18 who are Illinois residents, U.S. citizens or legal immigrants and whose family meets the income requirements. KidCare covers a wide array of services including physician visits, prescription medicines, immunizations, x-rays, medical equipment and supplies, and dental and eye care for children. Pregnant women are eligible for pre-natal care and other medical services.

"As of August 1, 2000, nearly 114,000 children and pregnant women have enrolled in KidCare, since Governor Ryan and the Department stepped up efforts in April 1999," said Ann Patla, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Aid.

However, Ryan noted, that the state has only passed the half way mark to reaching enrollment goals. He attributed the success of the outreach campaign in large part to the partnership with hundreds of community organizations, hospitals, clinics and churches. The state has more than 1,200 KidCare application agent sites.

To increase awareness about KidCare, IDPA will host a variety of activities in August, which include a display in the Governor's tent at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the DuQuoin State Fair. For more information about KidCare, call 1-800-226-0768 or TTY 1-877-204-1012.



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