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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2006

Governor Blagojevich and Chicago Public Schools announce All Kids partnership
Third largest school district in the country to help enroll uninsured children and promote program as parents receive report cards tomorrow

First All Kids applications become available today
 
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan joined parents and students today at Lake View High School to announce a new partnership between the State of Illinois and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to enroll uninsured children in All Kids, the state’s new program to provide affordable, comprehensive health insurance to children.  As parents arrive to pick up report cards tomorrow and Thursday, nearly all of the 600 CPS schools will be distributing information about All Kids.  In addition, 100 schools will help enroll children in the program. 
 
“Parents are always thinking about how they can help their kids do well in school.  When children have health insurance, they stay healthier and they do better in school.  Having health insurance means parents can take their children to the doctor for regular checkups.  It means having prescription drug coverage.  It means being able to afford necessities like eyeglasses and asthma inhalers.  That’s why we created All Kids,” said Gov. Blagojevich  “I want to thank Mayor Daley and the Chicago Public Schools for helping us make sure that parents get the information they need to enroll their children in All Kids.”
 
“The Governor's All Kids program will ensure healthier students in Chicago Public Schools,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan.  “After all, healthier kids perform better in school when they can get glasses if they can’t see the blackboard, they can get their ears checked if they can’t hear the teacher, and see a doctor when they are sick.  Healthy children also attend more school and their parents aren't missing work as much to care for them.”
 
During Report Card Pickup Days, which are Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20, 2006, there will be 500,000 All Kids fliers distributed in report cards at 485 elementary schools and 107 high schools.  Volunteers and staff will be available at 100 targeted schools to help parents with the application process.  Chicago Public Schools will help enroll families in the program on an ongoing basis. 
 
The first applications for the All Kids program became available today for families interested in enrolling in the program.  A child’s parent, guardian or relative can fill out the application.  Once the application form is received, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) processes the information and mails a letter to the home explaining the next steps in the process.  Families that have pre-registered for the program receive a partially filled out application in the mail based on the information provided during pre-registration.
 
For those families applying 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 can apply to receive benefits through All Kids beginning July 1, 2006.  Completed application forms can be mailed to All Kids, P.O. Box 19122, Springfield, IL 62794-9805 or collected at application sites across the state.
 
Evidence shows that children without health insurance are at a disadvantage in the classroom.  According to a Florida Healthy Kids Annual Report in 1997, children who do not have health coverage are 25 percent more likely to miss school.  A California Health Status Assessment Project on children’s health published in 2002 found that children who recently enrolled in health care saw their attendance and performance improve by 68 percent.  The Building Bridges to Healthy Kids and Better Students study done in 2002 in Vermont conducted by the Council of Chief State School Officers showed that children who started out without health insurance saw their reading scores more than double after getting health care.
 
The Governor’s All Kids program makes comprehensive health insurance available to all children and covers doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, vision care, dental care, as well as medical devices like eyeglasses and asthma inhalers.  Parents will pay monthly premiums and co-payments for doctor 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.  However, there will be no co-pays for preventative care visits, such as annual immunizations and regular check ups, as well as screenings for vision, hearing, appropriate development and preventative dental. 
 
The Governor’s office has been working with local leaders and community organizations across the state to increase public awareness about the All Kids program.  Families can apply for the program by attending upcoming All Kids registration events happening statewide, by calling 1-866-ALL-KIDS to receive an application form by mail or by visiting www.allkidscovered.com. 
 
Chicago Public Schools is the third largest school district in the nation with 435,000 students in more than 600 schools.  Lake View High School is a Chicago public school that opened in 1874, making it the oldest high school in the State of Illinois.  Located in the Wrigleyville area, Lake View is an attendance area school that also accepts students citywide (although most of them come from nearby areas) for its accelerated learning opportunities.


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