Partnerships Promote Children’s Health
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
year, I launched HealthStat, a comprehensive, citywide initiative
to provide uninsured New Yorkers with access to existing heath
insurance programs such as Medicaid and Child Health Plus. I am
pleased to announce that the first year of HealthStat was a tremendous
success and we have programs in place to ensure that 2001 will
bring even bigger gains.
Prior to HealthStat, there were an estimated 325,000 uninsured
children in New York City who were eligible for Medicaid or Child
Health Plus. In just one year, children’s enrollment in these
programs grew by 125,000. We are well on our way to ensuring that
all children receive the vital heath coverage for which they are
To build on last year’s momentum, I have added a new component
to HealthStat called the School Incentive Program. This initiative
offers cash awards to schools that help enroll uninsured children
in Medicaid and Child Health Plus. Schools can win up to $50,000,
depending on the number of uninsured children they enroll. More
than 200 schools are actively participating in this program today.
The rules are simple: schools enrolling 70 percent of their uninsured
children in insurance programs qualify for a $25,000 award; schools
enrolling 100 percent of their uninsured children qualify for
$50,000. Schools with fewer than 100 uninsured children are eligible
for smaller awards. The awards can be used for any educational
purpose, such as buying new computers or purchasing new books
for the library.
Schools are embracing this program because they know that children
without access to regular health care are 25 percent more likely
to miss school. A healthy child is a better student. And the cash
awards allow schools to provide extra services to students.
Many schools are working with other City agencies or private partners
to sponsor enrollment activities. For example, the Fire Department
recently sponsored a Health Fair for the families of children
in PS 75 in Brooklyn. The FDNY collaborated with Wyckoff Medical
Center to provide free health screenings for families. Enrollers
were at the Health Fair to assist parents in signing up their
children for Medicaid or Child Health Plus.
Now that the school year has come to an end, the City will be
presenting the first round of cash awards to several schools that
have hit their enrollment targets. Schools will continue working
through the summer and the next school year to identify uninsured
children and get them enrolled in health programs. Ask your children’s
principal if your school is participating and how you can help.
To learn whether you or your children could qualify for Medicaid,
Child Health Plus, or Family Health Plus, call the City’s new
automated phone line at 1-888-NYC-6116. #
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