Denali KidCare goes mobile to help increase access to children’s health coverage

"When you see all these cases in children, it's really just showing you that you have such a...
"When you see all these cases in children, it's really just showing you that you have such a high level of community spread right now," says Dr. Elizabeth Hawse with Commonwealth Pediatrics.(WKYT)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 3:52 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - About 4.3 million children did not have any health insurance coverage in 2018, and that number is steadily rising. That’s according to a report from the United States Census.

But now, a new texting service aims to increase access to children’s health coverage in Alaska.

The Alaska Children’s Trust and Alaska 2-1-1 have teamed up to launch a new texting service designed to increase access to Denali KidCare. Denali KidCare is Medicaid health coverage for children, from birth through age 18, and pregnant women who meet income requirements.

According to the Alaskan Children’s Trust, the service allows Alaskan parents and caregivers to text “KidCare” to 898-211. Parents who text will receive a few simple questions that will lead them to a navigator at United Way’s 2-1-1 phone line. The navigator can quickly and easily enroll their children in the health coverage program if they qualify. The new texting service will complement the current system that allows people to enroll either via phone, website or in-person.

“We know parents are busy and navigating a complicated system is not an option,” said Alaska Children’s Trust President & CEO, Trevor Storrs. “We hope this unique partnership with Alaska 2-1-1 will encourage more Alaskan parents to enroll their children in Denali KidCare. Now more than ever ensuring children have access to health care is critical.”

To view Denali KidCare’s income eligibility standards, visit here.

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