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Families can get help accessing health insurance

More than 4,000 children in Placer County are uninsured
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Local children will be able to better access comprehensive health care following a $10,000 grant from the Mother Lode Foundation to the Placer Children's Health Initiative, which was announced Wednesday.

The money will enhance outreach services to families with children 18 and younger who are eligible for private and public health insurance but aren't accessing these programs, according to a news release from the initiative.

A study conducted in Placer County in 2007 estimated there were about 4,400 children without medical insurance, and about 80 percent of those kids were eligible for either Medi-Cal or Healthy Families.

The study found that children were not being enrolled in the programs available to them due to lack of awareness and ability to fill out applications, according to the release.

The Placer Children's Health Initiative was created in 2007 to address this disconnect. The group provides Certified Application Assistants to organizations throughout the county, who assist families in filling out applications for Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and Kaiser Permanente Child Health Plan.

The assistants also help families retain and use the insurance once they enter the program. As a result, more than 600 local children have been enrolled and kept in comprehensive medical insurance due to services coordinated by the initiative, according to the release.

~ Sena Christian

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Certified Application Assistants

What: Assistants provide help filling out health insurance applications, and offer guidance on using insurance after kids enter the program. Coordinated by the Placer Children's Health Initiative.

Where: KidsFirst, 124 Main St. in Roseville

Info: Call (530) 885-9585 or visit www.placerchi.com