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SOURCE ALL IN for Health
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A spirited "virtual" rally was held today around a new campaign in California to help the state's school and child-care leaders raise awareness about new health coverage options available under California's new health insurance exchange, Covered California. The "ALL IN" Campaign is believed to be the most extensive effort in the nation currently underway in schools to educate and support children and their parents in the ways they can get the greatest health benefit from the new law. It is estimated that, under the new law, more than 5.3 million Californians may now be eligible for Covered California and nearly 3 million more children and adults for Medi-Cal. But despite an encouraging initial response by people seeking health coverage this month, many are still unaware of the potential benefits.
"California has over 10,000 public schools, which serve over 6 million children and families. Educators see every day that healthy children make better learners and understand how important it is to connect children and families to health care. Schools and child-care providers offer a way to connect with nearly 100% of Californians who qualify for coverage through the ACA and Medi-Cal," said Wendy Lazarus, Founder and Co-President of The Children's Partnership, the organization which is spearheading the campaign. "We are excited to have education and health care leaders from around the state working together to make this effort successful."
The ALL IN Campaign will work with school and child-care leaders across California to help educate families about no- or low-cost health care available through Covered California and Medi-Cal and to take action to enroll families they touch-through enrollment nights, PTA events, service learning projects, and more. At the virtual campaign rally, which included educators and school administrators as well as policy leaders from across the state, a new toolkit for school leaders (www.allinforhealth.org/toolkit) was introduced that includes a game plan for taking action, a fact sheet for parents and families, and even a wallet card that can be distributed to remind families to enroll for coverage by providing them the phone number and website to get started.
"Across California, schools are community centers and trusted sources of information–and that means that education leaders have an unparalleled opportunity to help connect students, parents, and the education workforce to affordable, comprehensive health care," wrote California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in an October 9th letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators. "We want our staff members and families, child care centers, athletic and after school programs, and school nurses to be part of the ALL IN campaign. Working together, we can ensure everyone is informed about new health coverage opportunities, how to enroll, and where to go for more information and assistance."
While just underway, the ALL IN Campaign is already making a difference. In Carmichael, CA, for example, a student organizer from Rio Americano High School has started to use the
ALL IN toolkit to help provide outreach and education efforts about the ACA and Covered California to 22 schools in San Juan Unified School District. And in Moreno Valley, the school district is training personnel on updated health coverage information and sending out information to parents.
The ALL IN Campaign envisions that ALL IN efforts at school sites across California will take on their own unique flavor. "Some schools will host enrollments nights, others will send materials home with kids, and some may even sign up to become official Certified Enrollment Counselors. It really depends on the school," said Lazarus. "This campaign is designed to make it easy for local school leaders who want to help educate parents and students about this crucial new opportunity."
The ALL IN Campaign seeks to complement the two other statewide education and enrollment campaigns: Covered California's information campaign and Asegurate campaign, designed to educate Californians about Obamacare benefits. Other ALL IN partners include: California Department of Education, California School Boards Association (CSBA), California School Health Centers Association, California Coverage & Health Initiatives, Covered California, and The California Endowment.
ALL IN for Health is a project of The Children's Partnership (www.childrenspartnership.org).
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