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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2006

Director Barry Maram announces new All Kids partnerships with YMCAs across Illinois, the Otis Wilson Foundation, and the Chicago Park District as summer activities and camps begin
Over 40 YMCAs participate statewide; materials to be distributed at hundreds of summer camps and recreational sites

CHICAGO – Barry Maram, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services joined President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Stephen Cole, Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Tim Mitchell, former Chicago Bear Otis Wilson, local officials and day campers today at Portage Park to announce that the All Kids program will work with YMCAs across Illinois, the Otis Wilson Foundation and the Chicago Park District to help build awareness and enroll children in the All Kids program throughout summer camps and special events. 

“Summer is a great time for kids to play outside and have fun at parks, day camps and festivals. We want our kids to be healthy and enjoy their summer. But when a child gets injured or becomes ill, we want to make sure they have access to the best healthcare coverage,” said Maram. “All Kids gives all children in Illinois access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare coverage. Working with the Chicago Park District, the Otis Wilson Foundation and more than 40 YMCA’s, we’ll make sure word gets around the state about the benefits of All Kids.”

YMCAs across Illinois will be distributing materials and information about the All Kids program at their centers and programs throughout the summer.  The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago will be giving out All Kids information and materials at 33 YMCA centers, 4 child care centers and sixteen YMCA daycare programs in the Chicago area.  The Decatur Family YMCA, Champaign County YMCA, Quincy Family YMCA, YMCA of Rock River Valley, Springfield YMCA, and Bloomington-Normal YMCA will also be distributing materials and information about the program.

“For the past 150 years, the YMCA has been committed to serving the needs of disadvantaged youth and anytime we can engage in a partnership that will further our mission, we’re proud to do it,” said Stephen Cole, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.  “We are thrilled to partner with the All Kids program by offering information to families, making sure they understand the advantages of having healthcare coverage and encouraging them to apply.”

The Otis Wilson Foundation will distribute All Kids materials at each of the summer camps in the Chicagoland area that will start July 10th and last for six weeks until August 18th.  Each camp will have between 75 and 100 children every week.  The Otis Wilson Foundation has been working with children throughout the area for over 15 years.  Currently the Foundation is working with children at Pace Middle School and Melrose Park Middle School, Maywood, Illinois by providing a “Health and Fitness Awareness Program.”

“The summer programs offered through the Foundation focus on helping children develop a healthy and fit lifestyle,” said former Chicago Bears linebacker Otis Wilson.  “But when children go without their regular doctor and dentist check-ups and are living without access to healthcare coverage, they won’t be able to reach their full potential to become physically fit and nutritious.  I'm proud to partner with the Governor’s All Kids program because we need to keep kids healthy and give them the opportunity to live active and healthy lifestyles.”

The Chicago Park District will be working together to build awareness about All Kids through the Park’s venues and programs, such as poster and flyer distribution to recreation centers, parks, and playgrounds citywide, state staff at special events and festivals that have significant participation by parents and distribution of materials with state staff on site at 35 of the most populated parks on the first day of camp, June 26th.

“The Chicago Park District is pleased to partner with the State of Illinois to provide literature and information on the All Kids program in neighborhood parks throughout the city,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Tim Mitchell.  “Children who are going to the doctor for their regular checkups and receiving vaccinations will be safer children when they are playing and enjoying the parks.”

“The All Kids program will provide that coverage for the thousands of children who are living without health insurance in Illinois and the partnership we are announcing today will help bring them one step closer,” Maram continued.  “I want to thank the YMCA, the Chicago Park District and the Otis Wilson Foundation for joining us to make sure parents get the information they need to enroll in the All Kids program.”

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 partnering 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

Applications for the All Kids program are available for families interested in enrolling in the program.  A child’s parent, guardian or relative can fill out the application.  Pregnant women may also fill out the form.  Once the application form is received, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) will process the information and mail a letter to the home explaining the next steps in the process. 

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 will be applying to receive benefits through All Kids beginning July 1, 2006.  Completed application forms should be mailed to All Kids, P.O. Box 19122, Springfield, IL 62794-9805 or they will be collected at application sites across the state.

Portage Park was created in 1913 by the Old Portage Park District, an independent park board formed by local citizens to enhance property values and improve their northwest side neighborhood. The name of the new park district, and that of its first and largest park, makes reference to several nearby routes used by Native Americans and fur traders to portage their canoes between the DesPlaines and Chicago Rivers.

The Otis Wilson Foundation, a non-profit organization, is committed to the communities it serves, and most importantly, to the children.  The Foundation desires to reduce the negative outcomes related to low levels of physical activity and poor nutrition in the lives of our young, and increase the positive outcomes and produce lifelong, activity, healthy individuals.  The Foundation has over 15 years experience in the development of programs focusing on the needs of children.  Otis Wilson, Bears’ Superbowl linebacker, formed the Foundation to help children have opportunities available to them that otherwise would not.  Wilson and his Foundation have touched the lives of over 10,000 children throughout the United States, and have the continued determination to lend assistance to as many children as possible.

The YMCA is an inclusive, charitable Association, founded on Christian principles and dedicated to building strong kids, strong families and strong communities through programs that develop spirit, mind and body.



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