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StarBulletin.com

Some children will get QUEST break


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POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2009

Children in a family of four earning about $76,000 a year may now qualify for the state's free QUEST and Medicaid programs.

This is about $3,000 more than the family income limit last year for the free health insurance coverage.

The new gross monthly income limits range from $3,117 for a one-member household to $8,490 for a six-member family and $12,792 for a 10-member family. Each additional person is $1,074.

About 16,000 uninsured children and youths in the islands without health insurance could be eligible for comprehensive state coverage with the new income limits, said Hawaii Covering Kids. Children's eligibility is based on household size, income and citizenship or immigration status.

A simplified application makes it easy to sign up, said Barbara Luksch, who directs Hawaii Covering Kids, a project of the Hawaii Primary Care Association.

She said the program and its 200 federal, state, business and community partners are working hard to enroll eligible uninsured children and youths in the free health insurance programs, particularly because of the economic slump.

“;Health insurance connects kids to a pediatrician and regular preventive care,”; Luksch said in a news release. “;Also, parents and guardians have peace of mind knowing that injuries or sudden illnesses can be treated at emergency rooms without incurring exorbitant medical bills.”;

For more information and to download a QUEST and Medicaid application, see www.coveringkids.com/community.

Parents and guardians can call 211 free from all islands to talk to an operator who will mail an application and link each family to an outreach worker for help with eligibility questions and completing the form.