State suspends KCHIP fee to assist families

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Insurance program suspends $20 monthly premium

By The Staff

Families in the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program, which offers free or low-cost health insurance to eligible children, will no longer have to pay monthly premiums to ensure coverage for their child.

Previously, some KCHIP families were required to pay a $20 monthly premium to receive KCHIP coverage for their children. The Kentucky General Assembly approved suspending the monthly charge after determining it served as a deterrent to enrollment and caused some children to drop out of the program because of the burden of paying premiums.

“In these tough economic times, we’re doing everything we can to make sure children have access to quality health care,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a news release. “By eliminating the monthly premiums for KCHIP, we will be able to prevent children from leaving the program due to cost, and children will continue to have access to care throughout their youth.”

KCHIP covers dental, medical, vision, hearing, hospitalizations and many other medical services.

Previously, KCHIP families whose income was over 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level paid the premium. Suspending the premiums affects more than 16,000 children.

In June, 419,544 children were covered by Medicaid, including 59,899 children in KCHIP. Since the end of October 2008, the number of Medicaid-covered children has increased by 42,449, which includes an increase of 6,713 children in KCHIP.

Premium payments made by KCHIP members to cover July or any month after July will be refunded as soon as possible. Members with questions about premium payments may call 1-800-635-2570.

For more information, visit http://kidshealth.ky.gov.