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News Brief

Sept. 15, 2017DES MOINES, Iowa |  By: Nienow

Funding for health coverage for 83,000 Iowa children in question

A federal program that funds health coverage for more than 83,000 Iowa children will run out of money at the end of the month, but there's reason to be hopeful.

Earlier this week the Senate Finance Committee reached agreement on a plan to protect the Children's Health Insurance Program which covers children whose parents earn slightly too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but a resolution has not been reached in the House.

Anne Discher, interim executive director of the Child and Family Policy Center, says research shows that kids served by the program are better off than their uninsured cohorts.

The initiative is offered through the Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa program, also known as HAWK-I. The White House has broadly suggested making changes to the program to ensure it's more targeted at, what it calls, "the most vulnerable low-income families and children." Under current rules, an Iowa household with one child could earn no more than $36,000 a year to qualify. Families served by HAWK-I pay no more than $40 a month for child health coverage through a managed care organization. Discher says preventive care is among the offerings in the plan.

Discher says the program traditionally has had bipartisan support.