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DHS news release

April 26, 2006

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

Healthy Kids forums set next week in Portland and La Grande

Two more public forums seeking comments about how health-insurance coverage would be extended to more children and teens will be held in Portland and La Grande on May 2 and May 4, 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:

  • Portland on May 2 at Benson High School, 546 N.E. 12th Ave., from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • La Grande on May 4 at La Grande Middle School commons, 1108 Fourth St., 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.