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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2000

RYAN HONORS SIX ORGANIZATIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL KIDCARE ENROLLMENT
Announces KidCare Outreach Partnership With Rainbow/Push Coalition

CHICAGO-Governor George H. Ryan today recognized six organizations for outstanding achievement in enrolling Illinois children and pregnant mothers into KidCare, the state's health insurance program. Ryan also announced KidCare outreach partnerships with three groups targeting potential KidCare enrollees in the African-American and Hispanic communities.

"The number of children and pregnant mothers enrolled in our KidCare health insurance program has tripled since we announced our first outreach campaign in April 1999," Governor Ryan said. "Today, the enrollment in our state's KidCare program is more than 100,000 and growing. Because of the work of our outreach campaign, including tremendous work from our KidCare Application Agents, more Illinois families have the peace of mind of knowing their kids have health insurance."

"Our outreach campaign has been a success thanks in large part to our KidCare Application Agents enrolling kids and expectant mothers throughout the state," said Ann Patla, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Aid. "Today the Governor and I thank all of those enrollment agents for their hard work, and honor six organizations who are truly leading the way in signing up families for the KidCare program."

The KidCare Application Agents honored today are:

1. Cook County Bureau of Health Services

Cook County Bureau of Health Services has been a mainstay of health care for the poor and working poor of Cook County for many years. Staff at the Bureau's sixteen health centers and suburban sites have submitted more than 5,000 Kid Care applications during the past year. Specific recognition is being given today to the staff at the Bureau's Fantus Clinic, Dr. Jorge Prieto Clinic and Public Health's North District office in Rolling Meadows for the volume and accuracy of KidCare Applications submitted.

2. Kane County Health Department The Kane County Health Department, established in 1985, is available to serve an estimated population of 393,800 residents. KidCare outreach efforts have included presentations and ongoing contacts with local hospitals, schools and businesses and special outreach efforts to the Hispanic community. Operating with sites in Aurora and Elgin, the Health Department is recognized for submitting more than 2,000 KidCare Applications.

3. Alivio Medical Center

Alivio Medical Center has provided outstanding outreach to the Hispanic Community since inception of the KidCare program. Alivio staff have partnered with the Chicago Public Schools and local Churches on the West and South sides of Chicago to promote the KidCare program. Alivio has staffed booths to distribute applications and offer assistance in completing the applications at numerous neighborhood fairs and at all Hispanic community events and festivals. The staff has a strong commitment to service of their community and to provision of medical services to persons without health insurance. Alivio is recognized for success in encouraging their patients to apply for KidCare and has submitted more than 1500 KidCare applications.

4. DuPage County Health Department

The DuPage County Health Department is available to serve the estimated 892,200 residents of DuPage County. The Department and its staff are recognized for excellence in their participation as KidCare Application Agents both for the numbers of applications submitted and for having one of the highest approval ratings of KCAAs in the State. Operating from their offices in Wheaton, DuPage County Health Department staff have submitted more than 2,000 applications during the past year.

5. Infant Welfare Society of Chicago

Infant Welfare Society, located at 1931 North Halsted in Chicago, annually cares for 11,000 clients, 75% of which are children. Its mission is to support the working poor. Infant Welfare Society has been assisting its clients to enroll in the KidCare program since April 1999 and has done intensive outreach with the Boys and Girls Club in Logan Square, Chicago Christopher House, Chicago Public Schools, the faith community and many Chicago area summer events and festivals. Infant Welfare Society is being recognized as an outstanding KidCare Application for having one of the highest approval ratings of KCAAs in the State.

6.Catholic Health Partners: St. Joseph's Lakeview Clinic

St. Joseph Hospital Lakeview Clinic, 2849 N. Clark Street in Chicago, provides care to more than 8,500 patients a year. Lakeview Clinic has a staff of 22 nurses, physicians, financial counselors and KidCare agents 95 percent of whom are bilingual. About 85% of the patients are Hispanic, and come from the Chicago neighborhoods of Humboldt Park, Uptown, Logan Square, Cragin, Ravenswood, and many others. The six clinics associated with Catholic Health Partners have submitted more than 1,000 applications. The Lakeview Clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital is being recognized today for outstanding outreach efforts and for accuracy in the completion of the KidCare applications.

"We will not rest on our initial success," the Governor said. "The number of enrollees increased from 31,000 to more than 104,000 since our outreach effort began a year ago. However, we are just more than half way to our enrollment goal. We must continue our efforts to reach out to these children and their families, to help them protect our most precious resources - our kids. So today, I am announcing three important partnerships that will assist us in our efforts to reach out to families in the African-American and Hispanic communities." Those partnerships are with the following groups: Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and Reverend Jesse Jackson

KidCare's successful outreach efforts will be further enhanced with its new partnership with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Rainbow PUSH will promote KidCare through a variety of proven strategies aimed at eligible families throughout the state. PUSH will hold several community meetings each week to explain KidCare to families. Prominent Coalition members such as Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Rev. Willie T. Barrow and Rev. James Meeks will work with families to encourage them to apply for KidCare. PUSH staff will become KidCare specialists to assist families in applying for the program. The Coalition will provide exhibit space to KidCare and conduct KidCare mailings. Rainbow/PUSH will begin its work in July.

Rossi Enterprises, Inc.

Rossi's efforts in promoting KidCare are targeted to reach and inform Illinois Hispanic residents. Rossi's goal has been to motivate Hispanic Illinoisans, 12 to 34 years of age, to take advantage of the benefits of the KidCare program. During the period that Rossi has worked with the Department, there have been noticeable increases in the number of Hispanic applicants and today we are announcing its work will continue into next year.

R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations

R.J. Dale's efforts in promoting KidCare will target "hard-to-reach" African-American and urban residents-approximately 80% of which reside in the Chicago Metro Area of Cook County. Dale's efforts will also include other Illinois areas with this "hard-to-reach" African-American and urban population in Decatur, East St. Louis, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield. R.J. Dale will begin its work this summer.

Health Insurance for Illinois Children

What is KidCare?

It's a state program that offers health care coverage to children and pregnant women and help in paying premiums of employer-sponsored or private insurance plans.

Who is eligible for KidCare?

Children through age 18 who are Illinois residents, U.S. citizens or qualified legal immigrants, including refugees and asylees, and whose family meet income requirements are eligible. Any pregnant women who are Illinois residents and meet the income requirements are eligible.

What are the income requirements? Income requirements vary by KidCare Plan and are based on family size. Payments made for childcare expenses or child support will be subtracted from income.

What will KidCare cost me?

KidCare services are available at no cost or at low cost. How much you pay depends on whether your family income qualifies you for KidCare Assist, KidCare Share, or KidCare Premium.

What health services does KidCare cover?

Services for kids include doctor and nursing care, immunizations and preventive care, hospital and clinic care, laboratory test and x-rays, prescription drugs, medical equipment and supplies, medical transportation, dental care, eye care, psychiatric care, podiatry, chiropractic care, physical therapy, mental health and substance abuse services. Pregnant women receive pre-natal care and other medical services.

What if my family has coverage through an employer or private plan?

Families who have employer-sponsored or private insurance can receive help from KidCare to pay their insurance premiums if their family income falls between certain monthly income standards. KidCare participants enrolled in employer or private plans receive the services provided by those plans.

Where can I learn more about KidCare or request a KidCare application?

Call 1-800-226-0768 (TTY: 1-877-204-1012).



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