ANCLA Outreach to Benefit State's Uninsured Youth

An outreach project to promote access to state-sponsored, no-cost health care coverage for New Mexico children has been undertaken by the Archdiocesan Network for Catholic Legislative Advocacy (ANCLA).

Colorful cardboard posters have been distributed to parishes with coupons informing parents or guardians how they can enroll their children in this program of health services called New Mexikids. Among the services provided are regular checkups, immunizations, glasses and hospital care.

Because the enrollment process has been simplified, now it can be done at schools, clinics and other sites. Immediate temporary eligibility can be given so that a child can be seen by a doctor or get a prescription filled even before the parents or guardian completes the regular Medicaid application. The application itself has been improved: it no longer tests what a person owns, just a person's income.

Households with incomes up to 185% of federal poverty guidelines qualify. As an example, a family of four with an annual income of $30,400 can receive no-cost coverage for any of their children under 19 years of age. Once determined eligible, the youths are guaranteed 12 months of continuous coverage regardless of changes in the family's income during the year.

Prompted by the fact that there are more than 100,000 uninsured children in our state, ANCLA became a partner with the New Mexico departments of Human Services and Health in this outreach effort to reduce that number.

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