Published on: 03/15/2012
Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) hosted, at its main campus, a birthday party celebration complete with balloons, cake and an enrollment drive for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Connecting Kids to Coverage initiative and the text4baby program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that provides health coverage for more than 43 million children, and text4baby, the country’s largest mobile health information service, announced a partnership last month designed to improve access to free and low-cost family health services for mothers and infants.
Roughly ten percent of children in the U.S. are uninsured and twenty percent of adult women of childbearing age are living without health insurance, meaning that many are missing access to critical health care and health information. In Florida between 2008 and 2010, about one in four women of childbearing age (28.5%) was uninsured and in 2007, some 1,694 infants died before reaching their first birthday. These statistics make clear the need for innovative solutions that better connect families to the tools they need to give their children the best possible start in life.
Senator Nan Rich of Sunrise gave opening remarks during the event and expressed enthusiasm and support for partnerships like the one being celebrated at the event. She embraced the great work that Healthy Kids, Florida Kid Care and other state and local organizations are undertaking in order to support the youngest Floridians.
Senator Rich was joined by Rich Robleto, Executive Director of Florida Healthy Kids, whose mission and that of Florida KidCare is to see that no child in the state is uninsured.
“For 20 years, the Healthy Kids program has been one of the most effective tools for ensuring the well-being of Florida’s children. The overriding mission of Healthy Kids and Florida KidCare is to see that no child in this state goes uninsured," said Mr. Robleto. "Ours is a state of unlimited promise, and our children enjoy unbounded opportunities. Our job, as the generation creating the world in which these children will grow, is to give them every possible chance to enjoy lives equal to these opportunities."
Natalia Coletti, the Director of Education and Training of the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade, shared how this partnership “will help encourage eligible mothers and children to enroll in Medicaid and CHIP. Text4baby users will be alerted to the availability of health insurance options, and many Florida organizations, like the Florida Covering Kids and Families, are working to help get children enrolled in health coverage to make sure that new moms know how to sign up with text4baby for all kinds of health tips and reminders.”
During the event parents and expecting parents had the opportunity to learn more about each of the programs and enrolled in the text4baby program and Medicaid program, if they qualified.