Saturday, May 9, 2009

Reviving Keiki Care - HB989

by Rep. Ryan Yamane - Chair, House Health Committee

In February 2008, it was estimated that the number of uninsured children in the state may be as high as 3500. In Hawaii, we have a gap group that is ineligible for any state or fderal health care coverage.

The majority of children in the gap group are those whose family income is at or over 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

These keiki have very minial access to preventive care and are often taken to the emergency room when a serious health problem develops.

Of ten these emergency visits are uncompensated and places a growing financial burden on Hawaii's hospitals and physicians.

To be eligible for the Keiki Care plan, children must be between the ages of 31 days and 19 years old, and live in Hawaii. In addition, children must have been uninsured continuously for at least six months and ineligible for any other state or federal health coverage.

As our State faces more fiscal constraints, we at the Legislature want to continue to support partnerships with good public and private entities to ensure that all our keiki are covered.

The reason that we wanted to partner with the Federally Approved Health Clinics is because they have the relationships, expertise and community commitment to cover all of Hawaii's people.

Click here to view bill passed: HB989

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