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BOISE, Idaho - Albertson's and Covering Kids are rolling out a national partnership to connect uninsured children with low-cost and free health care coverage. Over the next few weeks, Albertson's network of stores will alert families about the availability of affordable health care coverage for children through the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and Medicaid.
Albertson's will distribute more than 200 million grocery bags emblazoned with the national toll-free (877) KIDS-NOW hotline and place print public service announcements in store circulars. Parents and guardians can call the toll-free number to learn more about SCHIP/Medicaid eligibility in their state. More than 2,400 stores in 33 states will participate in the partnership by providing important health care coverage information during the month.
"Across America, families rely on the Albertson's family of grocery stores and drug stores to help keep their children healthy,? says Larry Johnston, chairman and CEO of Albertson's Inc. "While we provide the wholesome foods and advice on over-the-counter remedies that families need, we also strive to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve. Children need health care coverage too, and that's why we are committed to getting the word out about these programs."
Nationally, more than eight million children in America do not have health insurance. Most of these uninsured children are eligible for SCHIP or Medicaid but are not enrolled. Covering Kids, a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, works to connect families with these programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Parents of uninsured children are seven times more likely to forgo or to delay filling prescriptions, compared with parents of insured kids, according to a national study conducted for Covering Kids. In fact, 14 percent of uninsured children are going without prescription drugs, when they need them, because their parents cannot afford to pay for the medicine, compared to 2 percent of insured kids.
"Albertson's partnership with Covering Kids illustrates the critical role that the business community can play in efforts to reach families with uninsured children," said Sarah Shuptrine, Director of the Covering Kids National Program Office. "As parents shop for their groceries and fill prescriptions in store pharmacies, Albertson's will make important information about affordable health care coverage for children available to its customers. And, we are grateful for that."