THA program helps with CHIPRA filing

Published 11:28 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

There are a lot of students in Marengo County who are not covered by any means of insurance. Loretta Wilson, who works with the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority’s LifeSkills program, said she hopes to be able to help those students get coverage.

“I am hopeful that, while we are in school systems, that we can identify some of the students who are eligible who did not apply and provide them with that one-on-one assistance and walking them through the application process so they can become eligible,” she said.

Several children may qaulify for insurance under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, or CHIPRA, which extended and expanded the states’ Children’s Health Insurance Program. It was expected to provide coverage to 4.1 children who otherwise would have been unisured by the year 2013.

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The LifeSkills program works with sixth-graders in teaching them the risks of tobacco use.

“It is working out really well in identifying those kids who really need the insurance,” Wilson said. “We are finding that when the children get insurance, their academics improves because they are well; the number of days that they miss school decreases.

“Once they go to a doctor, which they can now do through insurance coverage, they don’t have to stay out for an extended basis.”