As Michigan Struggles to Insure Kids, Community Health Centers Provide a Health Care Home

As many Michigan residents are struggling these days due to layoffs and reduced or eliminated health insurance coverage, Michigan Community Health Centers are fast becoming the health care home for an increasing number of individuals and families. The comprehensive, quality primary and preventive health care that Community Health Centers provide has a price tag that people can afford since service charges are calculated on a sliding fee scale based on family size and income.

In 2007, children between birth and 19 years of age accounted for 38% of Michigan Community Health Centers’ patients. From well-child visits, to immunizations, to sports physicals, to dental care, children who are patients of a Community Health Center receive the quality health care they need, when they need it, and where they need it—right in their own community—regardless if they have public or private insurance or if they are uninsured. 

Today, the Detroit News published an article about how the state is struggling to insure children. “Michigan’s budget crisis is expected to prevent expansion of children’s health insurance coverage because the state can’t afford to match an extra $100 million in federal funds,” writes Kim Kozlowski.

Today, approximately 983,000 children are enrolled in Michigan public uninsured programs, but approximately 160,000 children still lack health insurance.

Michigan Primary Care Association, the voice for Michigan’s Community Health Centers, has joined a statewide campaign launched by the Michigan Cover the Uninsured Network to ensure that eligible children and families have access to free and/or low cost health coverage through the state’s Medicaid and MIChild programs. Last week’s U.S. Census report showed that nationally, over 46 million people are now uninsured, including 7.3 million children. In Michigan, over 1 million residents, including 160,000 children, lack health coverage. The goal of the Michigan outreach campaign is to enroll 50,000 eligible children in free and/or low cost health care coverage plans over the next two years.

If you know of a child or family who is struggling to access quality health care, encourage them to go to findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/ to locate a Health Center in their community.

For more information about the Michigan Cover the Uninsured Network’s Covering Kids & Families campaign, go to www.mctun.org.

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