Uninsured Children A Health Risk - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Uninsured Children A Health Risk

Renee Varner Renee Varner
Dorinda Bates, Program Director, Coalition of Health Services Dorinda Bates, Program Director, Coalition of Health Services

Panhandle parents are worried about the thousands of children in our area not getting the health care they need.

Millions of U.S. children lack health insurance and millions more have inadequate coverage in the wealthiest nation in the world. Right here in our region more 20,000 children have no insurance. Currently more than 6,000 children in 26 counties of the Panhandle are receiving adequate health insurance through the state's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or children's Medicaid.

The number of uninsured children leave some parents of insured children concerned. Renee Varner says she can't imagine not having insurance for her 2 children. "Even with a financial strain I would go down to apply for medicaid, chips or whatever I would definitely try and get it for them", Varner says.

Program Director Dorinda Bates with the Coalition of Health Services says some parents don't see insurance as a priority. "What happens more than anything it gets pushed to the back burners because they're other expenses have not been met" Bates explains.

Varner says she worries about children who have illnesses and are not getting the treatment  they deserve. "It kind of scares me because they go to day care and come in contact with kids who may or may not have coverage" she says.

That's why organizers from the Coalition of Health Services want to get more kids enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program or Medicaid... To help alleviate those concerns. "If we can get children covered when they have a primary care provider... Routine check-ups, go to the doctor instead of an emergency room that helps all of us.

Bates says that if people have any problems or questions about the application process they can call the center at (806) 337-1700.

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