Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Jed Boal ReportingA growing number of children in Utah do not get the health care they need because their families do not have insurance. Child advocates today urged parents to enroll their eligible, uninsured children for health care before it's too late.
There's a deadline, so parents of uninsured children need to enroll their kids in CHIP before September 1st. Child advocates say every family needs to get health care coverage for their kids.
The number of uninsured children in Utah is rising. A national study shows about 70-thousand Utah children have no insurance. That number rose 35-percent in the first half of this decade, despite a decrease nationwide.
There are a lot of items on the back-to-school list; Voices for Utah Children wants to make sure health care is on that list.
Karen Crompton, Voices for Utah Children: "Today we are launching an aggressive 21-day campaign to enroll as many children as possible in the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, as most people know it."
Currently, 36-thousand kids are enrolled, or about half of Utah's uninsured kids. September 1st enrollment in CHIP ends for an undisclosed period of time.
Karen Crompton: "We've seen a 50-percent increase in the number of uninsured children who would meet the qualifications for medicaid or CHIP. That's a worrisome sign that we're headed in the wrong direction, and we need to find more solutions."
Kids can't insure themselves, it's up to parents, employers and public programs. Amy Corroon heads up the Ready to Read Program. The wife of Salt Lake County's mayor says reading is important preparation for school, but so is health care.
Amy Corroon: "Children who have medical and dental problems often miss school. The more school they miss, the more they fall behind. The more thy fall behind, the more likely they are to drop out."
That why Utah is part of a nationwide push this month to get children the care for which they are eligible. Again, the deadline to enroll in CHIP is September 1st. You can apply online and find out if you're eligible. You'll find medicaid information on the same site.