Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Anthem wants universal health coverage for children

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield released a plan this month that calls for public and private initiatives to address the growing numbers of uninsured.

The plan supports expanding state health care programs to cover more of the 180,000 children living in Colorado who were not covered by health insurance last year. The state could do that, Anthem said, by extending the financial requirements to cover children in families than earn up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $60,000 for a family of four.

In addition to opening public programs to more children, the plan advocates state health care programs to include low-income parents and childless adults living at the poverty level.

Anthem also supports premium assistance programs for families with private insurance and pools to provide insurance to high-risk people.

Anthem said it will donate $30 million over the next three years to support community and state-based programs that address initiatives for the uninsured, which total 770,000 adults and children in Colorado. That's 17 percent of the state's population.

Nationally, 46 million Americans under age 65 do not have health insurance, reports Anthem.

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