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DHS news release

April 21, 2006

Contact: Jim Sellers (503) 945-5738
Program contact: Bob DiPrete (503) 378-2422, ext. 402

Healthy Kids forums set next week in Newport and Corvallis

Two more public forums seeking comments about how health-insurance coverage would be extended to more children and teens will be held in Newport and Corvallis on April 25 and April 27, respectively.

Parents of uninsured children are especially invited to share their views about eligibility levels, benefits, costs and related subjects. The forums, among seven being held statewide, are being hosted by the state Medicaid Advisory Committee at Gov. Ted Kulongoski's request.

The governor announced his desire to insure all Oregon children and teens in his February State of the State address.

Next week's forum schedule:

  • Newport on April 25 at the Performing Arts Center, 777 West Olive St., from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Corvallis on April 27 at New Fire Station No. 5, 4950 N.W. Fair Oaks Drive, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Participants will address topics in roundtable discussions, and be given an "open mike" opportunity and comment cards for subjects they believe were missed. Child care will be provided; all sites are accessible to people with disabilities.

Questions that will be addressed include how to make it easy to enroll kids and keep them enrolled; what is a fair level of premiums and co-pays for families at various income levels; and how employers who now offer dependent coverage can be encouraged to continue providing it.

Data from the state Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research indicate that 117,000 Oregon children are uninsured, or about one child in eight.

This week's forums were held in Medford and Bend, and other hearings are scheduled in Portland on May 2 and La Grande on May 4.