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Keeping children insured

January 27, 2009 2:53:38 PM PST
The tough economic times are forcing some parents to make some difficult decisions. But there's one thing parents do not have to cut from their budget, and that is health care for their children. Few families know that New York state has a program that offers a big reduction.

Bruce Yang is self employed and can't afford health insurance for himself. But his infant son is covered.

Yang is enrolled with Hudson Health Plan, a private, non-profit insurance company. Hudson Health Plan is among providers offering subsidized coverage through the state. The program offers free or low-cost insurance for almost any child. During the current economic crisis, enrollment has jumped nearly 10 percent.

In New York state, more than 1 million people who qualify for free or low cost coverage are not enrolled. Most have no idea the program even exists.

Alayna Shalom signed her two kids up after her ex-husband was laid off and lost his benefits. She pays just $60 a month. Last year, the state increased the maximum income level for free or low cost coverage to $77,000 a year. Those making more can still enroll and pay a higher premium, which is often more affordable than commercial insurance.

Providers say the goal is make more people aware of their options, so that no child is left out in the cold.

For more information, visit HudsonHealthPlan.org

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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