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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2006

First Lady Patti Blagojevich helps with pre-registration at multi-ethnic All Kids event; hundreds of children signed up for comprehensive health coverage
Governor’s Office, state officials, Consul Generals, and over 90 multi-ethnic organizations partner to pre-register children at Northeastern University

CHICAGO – First Lady Patti Blagojevich today joined state officials, over 90 multi-ethnic community organizations, members of Chicago’s Consular Corps, and hundreds of families at Northeastern University to pre-register children for the All Kids health insurance program.  Pre-registration will help expedite the application process for All Kids so children can start enjoying benefits as soon as the Governor’s landmark healthcare program takes effect July 1, 2006.
 
“Healthcare has been out of reach for thousands of children from hardworking families of all ethnicities and backgrounds across Illinois. Even though parents are working and doing all the things they’re supposed to do, so many can’t afford the high cost of health insurance for their families,” said First Lady Patti Blagojevich. “Uninsured families have lived in fear of a child becoming sick or injured because the cost of healthcare coverage is out of reach.  With the assistance being offered today in many languages and with so much support from multi-ethnic organizations, we are able to cross barriers and spread the word about All Kids.  Every child should have access to affordable healthcare coverage and we hope parents pre-register their children for All Kids today to start receiving coverage as soon as possible.”
 
“For the Consular Corps in Chicago, it is a matter of top priority to work hand in hand with the State of Illinois and Gov. Blagojevich in order to reach the goal of registering as many children from all ethnic backgrounds as possible for the Governor's All Kids program.  We believe All Kids is a great opportunity to help protect children who have no other alternatives when it comes to healthcare.  Today's event is one of many where the Consul Generals are joining in on the dream of making healthcare available to every child in Illinois,” said Carlos M. Sada, Consul General of Mexico and Dean of Chicago's Consular Corps.
 
The Governor’s office has partnered with the Chicago Consular Corps to help bring the All Kids program to the area’s ethnic communities.  Many of the Consul Generals have received pre-registration forms to distribute to their communities. 
 
In addition to the partnership with the Chicago Consular Corps, the Governor’s office has also partnered with over 90 multi-ethnic organizations to help pre-register children for the All Kids program including: the African Spectrum, African World View, Afrique News, Albany Park Community Center, Alliance of Polish Clubs, Alternatives, Apna Ghar, Asian Health Coalition of Illinois, Asian Human Services, Asian Social Work Network, Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Bosnian Herzego American Community Center, Bulgarian Weekly, CAAAELLI, Cambodian Association of Illinois, Chicago Inquirer, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Chitrahar Cultural Academy, Chitrahar TV, Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, Copernicus Foundation, Croatian Cultural Center, Desi Junction, DesiTALK, Divya Bharti, Dziennik Zwiazkowy, Ethiopian Community Association, Expatpol.com, Garam Masala, Ghana National Council, Gujarat Samachar, Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services, Healthy Albany Park Coalition, Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, Indo-American Center, Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, India Abroad, India Bulletin, India Post, India Tribune, Indian Reporter, Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Korean American Community Services, Korean American Senior Center, Korea Daily, Korea Times, Lao American Community Services, Legion of Young Polish Women, Medstar Laboratory Inc., Monitor, New Chinese Media, Nigerian Community Association, Northwestern Medical School, Obzor, Ogledalo, Organization of Liberian Community, Pak Times Weekly, Pakistan Times, People's Wave Russian Talk Show, Polish 1030 AM Radio, Polish Advocates Society, Polish American Association, Polish-American Medical Society, Polish Highlanders Alliance, Polish National Alliance, Polish Radio Chicago WPNA 1490 AM, Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, PolSat, Polvision, Punjabi Americans Organization, Punjab Cultural Society, Radio Disney, Raghu Nayak, Romanian American Community Center, Romanian Christian Television, Romanian Tribune, Serbian TV, Sierra Leone Community Association, Sikh TV, Southeast Asian Center, Tibetan Alliance of Chicago, TV Asia, TVP, Ukrainian Independent Radio, United African Organization, Urdu Times, Viche Newspaper, Vietnamese Association of Illinois, Windy City Word, World Journal, World Relief, and Zam's Hope. The event is also being sponsored by Mutual Bank.
 
Today’s All Kids pre-registration event took place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Northeastern with multilingual staff on-site all day to assist with pre-registration.  Translated guides were available in 13 languages, including Chinese, French, Hindi, Khmer, Korean, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Ukranian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.  The event also featured an interactive presentation for kids by Radio Disney and cultural performances. 
 
Building on the effort to make information about All Kids available to every community in Illinois, pre-registration guides are also available in 13 languages online at www.allkidscovered.com.  Families can also pre-register their kids by attending upcoming pre-registration events or by calling 1-866-ALL-KIDS to receive pre-registration forms by mail. 
 
Once a pre-registration form is received, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) will process the information and mail parents a letter to explain the next steps in the application process.  When it is time for the family to apply, HFS will mail each family an All Kids application that will be partially filled out based on the information provided during pre-registration.  For those families pre-registering online at www.allkidscovered.com, they can choose to be contacted via email or by mail for completion of the enrollment process.  Children who are determined to be eligible for KidCare can apply immediately to receive health coverage.  Families not currently eligible for KidCare may apply early in 2006 for benefits that will begin July 1, 2006.  Pre-registration forms should be filled out and mailed to All Kids, P.O. Box 19122, Springfield, IL 62794-9805 or they will be collected at pre-registration sites across the state over the next few months.
 
Of the approximately 250,000 children in Illinois without health insurance, about half come from working and middleclass families who earn too much to qualify for programs like KidCare, but not enough to afford private health insurance.  The Governor’s program provides children comprehensive healthcare coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, vision care, as well as dental care and medical devices like eyeglasses and asthma inhalers.  Parents will pay monthly premiums and co-payments for doctors’ visits and prescription drugs at affordable rates.
 
For example, a family with two children that earns between $40,000 and $59,999 a year will pay a $40 monthly premium per child, and a $10 co-pay per visit to a physician.  A family with two children earning between $60,000 and $79,999 will pay a $70 monthly premium per child, and a $15 co-pay per visit to a physician.  Families, however, will not have to make a co-payment for their children’s preventative care visits, such as annual immunizations and regular check ups, screenings for vision, hearing, and appropriate development, or preventative dental.  The premiums for middle-income families offered by the Governor’s All Kids program are significantly more affordable than typical private insurance premiums of $100 to $200 a month, or $2,400 per child annually.


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