Teachers for Healthy Kids


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  • Unless stated otherwise, notes for this presentation come primarily from the UCLA Center For Health Policy Research study released in June, 2002. The State of Health Insurance in California, Findings from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey
  • Teachers for Healthy Kids was developed as a way to address critical health issues impacting student performance in schools of greatest need. The 2001 California Academic Performance Index (API) showed that the lowest performing schools have the highest rates of eligibility for public health insurance programs.
  • FOCUS GROUP RESEARCH Teachers for Healthy Kids was designed with the needs of teachers in mind. CTA teacher focus groups were held around the state to assess teacher knowledge of health insurance issues and explore their willingness to participate in health outreach. It was found that: • Teachers would welcome a role in providing information to parents if educated about the programs; Teachers are willing to become conduits of information to parents; Teachers believe their efforts can have an impact on helping to enroll children; Teachers are most receptive to gaining information on site during the school day; Teachers do not want to expand their workload or be burdened by paperwork and;. Teachers do not want to become salespeople for any health insurance program or be considered health experts.
  • In many districts, school nurses and Healthy Start personnel are actively involved in identifying uninsured children and making efforts to enroll them. Other support staff, such as psychologists, counselors and speech therapists may also be interested in the efforts of Teachers for Healthy kids. Teachers and health plans working together can help students improve their health status, maximize their participation in school and increase academic achievement.
  • In 1997, the federal government enacted the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to allow states to better address the issue of the uninsured. California chose to implement Healthy Families, a program for children living in low income, working families. Healthy Families is a federal and state program with a 2/3 federal and 1/3 state match. Healthy Families joined Medi-Cal in providing complete health, dental and vision coverage for children up to age 19. Medi-Cal is a federal and state program with a 50-50 match.
  • Approximately 1/3 of the million children who are not insured are not eligible for either program. 180,000 children are undocumented and without green cards. 160,000 of these children are from families with incomes too high to qualify for Healthy Families.
  • Latinos represent a large share of the uninsured population because they have a high uninsured rate, low incomes, and account for a large portion of the population. Latinos are less likely to have job-based insurance.
  • A smaller portion of African-American children are uninsured as a result of a higher total enrollment in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families and strong employment based coverage. 6 in 10 African-Americans have health insurance obtained through their own or a family member’s job. Compared to African-Americans, Asian -Pacific Islanders have lower rates of enrollment in Medi-Cal and a greater enrollment in Healthy Families. Korean children are the most disadvantaged due to low rates of job insurance.
  • Nearly 60% of parents of children eligible for Healthy Families believe their children are ineligible, or don’t know the program exists. Nearly 40% of parents of children eligible for Medi-Cal are unsure if their children meet the eligibility requirements. 7 out of 10 parents of eligible but uninsured children said they would enroll their children in free or low-cost programs if they knew they were eligible Parents of about 1 in 8 uninsured eligible children objected to some characteristic of the program, particularly the onerous paperwork that has been typical of Medi-Cal. Only 3.3% of parents in the UCLA survey made negative comments reflecting the perception that Medi-Cal is associated with welfare. This suggests that the program is less stigmatized than previously believed. Less than 4% of parents of eligible children did not perceive the need for coverage for their children.
  • This is a study of the California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board to evaluate the health status of children newly enrolled in the Healthy Families program. Support for the study comes from the Packard Foundation. Indexes of quality of life health increased significantly for Latino, Asian Pacific Islanders and Whites. There were limited responses received from African Americans. The Healthy Families Program meaningfully improved the health related quality of life for children in the greatest need The Healthy Families Program had a positive impact on children with chronic health conditions and improved access to care..
  • Teachers for Healthy Kids

    1. 1. Teachers for Healthy Kids
    2. 2. What is Teachers for Healthy Kids? <ul><li>A joint project of the: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>California Association of Health Plans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>California Teachers Association </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Partnering together since 2000, both groups have been working t owards improving the health of students and their chances for academic success. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Teachers for Healthy Kids Was Developed To: <ul><li>Improve student performance by: </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting access to affordable health care coverage. </li></ul><ul><li>Putting emphasis on schools of greatest need. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Teachers for Healthy Kids Was Developed To: <ul><li>Educate teachers about health coverage programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Help them be conduits of information to parents. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Teachers for Healthy Kids Was Developed To: <ul><li>Include teachers in school health outreach efforts: </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate enrollment of children in health coverage programs. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Teachers for Healthy Kids Was Developed To: <ul><li>Consolidate efforts of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional support staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health insurance plans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To insure eligible children. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Did You Know? <ul><li>About 1.5 million children in California are uninsured. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet affordable, comprehensive health insurance is available. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul><ul><li>Children Now – California Report Card 2011 </li></ul>
    8. 8. Did You Know? <ul><li>Of California’s uninsured children, </li></ul><ul><li>nearly eight in ten (79%) are eligible for a public health coverage program such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy Families </li></ul><ul><li>Medi-Cal. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul><ul><li>Children Now – California Report Card 2011 </li></ul>
    9. 9. Did You Know? <ul><li>Rates of uninsured children vary widely across the state: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2/3 live in Southern California </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>6% of children in Los Angeles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1/10 of children in Bay Area and Sacramento </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1/12 of children in Central Coast communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>13% of children in San Luis Obispo County </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source: UCLA School of Public Health California Health Interview Survey 2011 </li></ul>
    10. 10. Did You Know? <ul><li>Latino children are 4 times more likely to be uninsured than non-Latino whites. </li></ul><ul><li>82% of uninsured children in the School Lunch Program are Latino. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: UCLA School of Public Health California Health Interview Survey </li></ul>
    11. 11. Did You Know? <ul><li>Percentage of uninsured children (0-18): </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Latinos 68% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Asian-Americans 21% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Caucasians 4% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>African-Americans 8% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li> and other race </li></ul><ul><li>Source: UCLA School of Public Health California Health Interview Survey </li></ul>
    12. 12. Why is Health Coverage Important? <ul><li>Even when a child Is healthy, </li></ul><ul><li>PREVENTIVE CARE is </li></ul><ul><li>important. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 87% of California children receive a preventive medical visit each year. </li></ul><ul><li>Uninsured children (76%) and children, ages 12-17, (78%) are least likely to receive preventive care. </li></ul>Source: Children Now – California Report Card 2011
    13. 13. Does Health Insurance Make a Difference? <ul><li>Absenteeism and sickness impact learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Missing more than 10 days in a semester can cause problems remaining at grade level.* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An estimated 51 million school hours a year are lost due to dental related illness alone.** </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Absenteeism costs districts money. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>* American Academy of Pediatrics, </li></ul><ul><li>**Assembly Select Committee on Low Performing Schools </li></ul>
    14. 14. Does Insurance Make a Difference? <ul><li>Uninsured kids are at a disadvantage . They are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 x more likely NOT to get needed medical services, preventive care, or fill prescriptions.* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5x more likely to receive their healthcare in an emergency room.** </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60% more likely to die during hospitalization*** </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children without dental insurance (59%) are more likely to miss two or more school days per year due to a dental problem*** </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Robert Wood Johnson Covering Kids Study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>** Children’s Partnership Study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>*** Children Now - California Report Card 2011 </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. If Children Are Eligible, Why Aren’t They Insured? <ul><li>Parents are: </li></ul><ul><li>Unaware of health care coverage programs for children. </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertain of eligibility requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>Fearful that enrollment or application will impact their immigration status. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Health Coverage Improves Student Performance <ul><ul><li>After one year in the Healthy Families program, children in the poorest health showed: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>68% improvement in paying attention in class </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>68% improvement in keeping up with school activities; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>25% improvement in overall health </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Source: MRMIB Children’s Health Assessment Project </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. What Can You Do To Help? <ul><li>Share information with parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers: </li></ul><ul><li>Are trusted messengers of information. </li></ul><ul><li>Have been the missing link in school outreach. </li></ul><ul><li>Have daily contact with children and parents. </li></ul><ul><li>See the link between health and achievement. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Remember… <ul><li>Teachers can’t teach to an empty desk. </li></ul>