Rep. Matt Lori: Enroll Michigan

Published 9:27 pm Thursday, September 15, 2011

In today’s classrooms, children have much to worry about. There are a multitude of stresses, including the need for high scores, homework, after-school activities and maintaining the status quo with their peers.
A lack of health care should not be one of those stress factors.
Sadly, that is the case for some children. Michigan officials estimate that roughly 127,000 children have no health insurance. Kids with health issues miss days of school, often are distracted because of the medical conditions and cannot focus on schoolwork.
All children, regardless of their parents’ income level, should have vaccinations, access to a doctor, dental care, prescription medicine when needed and regular health check-ups. They should not be denied medical care in the case of routine ear infections or sore throats or more urgent needs, such as broken bones or serious medical conditions.
Unfortunately, some families without health insurance are in that dire situation.
Parents who fall into the lower income brackets may qualify for a program called Enroll Michigan, where quality health care would be available to their children.
Two health care programs — MIChild and Healthy Kids — are plans operated under Enroll Michigan by the state of Michigan. Enrolling a child in either of these programs takes about 30 minutes and is as close by as a phone call or a mouse click. The cost for coverage can be as low as $10 a month — or less — depending on the parents’ income and the child’s eligibility. Included in the programs are office visits, dental care, prescriptions and immunizations.
Parents who have access to the internet can visit the website and register their child for the program. Those who are not online can call 2-1-1 and sign their child up during the phone call.
Our kids have enough challenges without having to worry about health care. Children with access to regular medical care have better attendance at school, learn more and grow into healthier adults.
Give your child the most important school supply possible as he or she heads back to class: good health. It  could make the difference in your son or daughter making the grade.
If you have questions, feel free to call my office toll-free at (877) 262-5959 or email me at