CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today kicked off a statewide Back-to-School All Kids outreach campaign to help every family in Illinois get healthcare for their children before the new school year begins. This year, Staples, the world’s largest office products company, will join hundreds of schools, healthcare providers, and community organizations in supporting the Governor’s efforts to ensure every child in Illinois has access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare as families visit the retailer to buy back-to-school supplies. All Kids makes Illinois the first state in the nation to offer affordable, comprehensive health coverage to every uninsured child.
“It’s so easy for kids to pass germs, catch a cold, or get injured playing sports when they go back to school. That’s why it’s so important for every child to have health coverage,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “I want to thank Staples, our schools and local healthcare agencies for doing their part to make sure their customers know about the help that’s available to them through the All Kids program. We’re working together across the state to get the word out to families about All Kids, and to remind them to add healthcare to their back-to-school checklist.”
During this back-to-school season, Staples office products stores will be promoting the All Kids program with posters in its Illinois stores. The signs ask parents to “Add healthcare to your back to school list,” and include All Kids information, the Web site and phone number.
“Helping kids get what they need to be successful in school is a top priority to Staples,” said Robert Wolfe, Regional Vice President of Sales and Operations of Staples. “Kids don’t just need pens, paper, and folders; they need to be healthy in order to get the most out of their education. For this reason we are helping to promote Governor Blagojevich’s All Kids Program to help our customers get the healthcare they need before starting the school year.”
Schools participating in the back-to-school All Kids outreach effort have received All Kids bookmarks to hand out to students and families during the back-to-school season. All Kids representatives will also participate in back to school health fairs at schools and community centers around the state.
The Governor’s All Kids program makes comprehensive health insurance available to all uninsured children, and All Kids covers immunizations, doctor visits, and many other healthcare services such as hospital stays, prescription drugs, vision care, dental care, as well as medical devices like eyeglasses and asthma inhalers. Parents pay affordable monthly premiums and co-payments for a variety of services.
“When kids are healthy, they are able to go to school and focus on learning,” said Barry Maram Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. “Through this outreach the Governor is ensuring that children won’t have to worry about getting the immunizations needed to register for school or affording glasses to see the blackboard.”
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 are 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 benefits of providing healthcare to children are numerous. Evidence shows that in addition to lacking adequate medical care, children without health insurance are at a disadvantage in the classroom. For example:
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%.
And a 2002 study in Vermont entitled Building Bridges to Healthy Kids and Better Students 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.
Applications for the All Kids program are available for families interested in enrolling in the program. Families can also apply for All Kids online at www.allkids.com, or by calling 1-866-ALL-KIDS.