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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 28, 2007

Contact: Greg Wilkinson (907) 269-7285, (907) 382-7032
Sherry Hill (907) 465-1613, cell (907) 321-2838

Denali KidCare services to continue despite congressional debates about State Children’s Health Insurance Program funding

Alaska bill passed this summer made insurance available to more children

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( Juneau, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reports that children eligible to receive State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) health care benefits through Denali KidCare will continue to receive services in the event that the current federal legislation to extend SCHIP fails to be signed by the President.

Congress is set to pass a continuing resolution to extend federal funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program through mid-November. If SCHIP funding is extended, the federal match rate for Denali KidCare will be 66.7 percent effective Oct. 1, 2007.

However, even if SCHIP funding is not extended by Congress, the Denali KidCare program would continue as a Medicaid funded program at a federal match rate of approximately 52.4 percent. If the Denali KidCare program is funded exclusively by the lower Medicaid reimbursement rate, state funding of about $3 million would be required in federal fiscal year 2008.

In Alaska, the SCHIP program provides insurance through Denali KidCare to about 16,000 children and teens through age 18 living in low-income families, as well as pregnant women with income levels at 175 percent of the federal poverty level.

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