Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

Good news on coverage for kids

siobhan 02/18/09

We’ve shared the story of Sarah McIntyre and her mom, Vicky, who’s been fighting to get health care for her daughter.  Now we’re delighted to report a happy ending. After a year-long rollercoaster ride, Sarah is getting the coverage she needs.

Born with a hole in her heart and cysts on her lungs, Sarah’s life prospects depend on consistent, quality healthcare.  She got that, thanks to state health coverage—until last year, when her parents got small raises that boosted their income just over the income cut-off for the state’s Apple Health for Kids program. That cut-off was supposed to rise this January. 

Like hundreds of other families, the McIntyres applied in November for that coverage and in December heard the good news Sarah would get Apple Health for Kids on January 1, 2009.   But then came the state budget crisis. The McIntyres were told Sarah’s coverage would have to wait. New federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) legislation signed by President Obama early this month will give Washington state million of dollars in extra children’s health funding.

Here’s the happy ending: we learned today that within the next few weeks the state will be starting up coverage for Sarah and the hundreds of children like her in moderate-income families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, who had qualified for and been waiting for health coverage.  Even better, the coverage will be retroactive to January 1, 2009.  This coverage is now available to all Washington children in families earning up to 300 percent of the poverty level.

Thanks to President Obama, Governor Gregoire, and the legislators who voted to restart this program. Children—from Sarah in Yakima, to Zoe in Spokane, to Tony and Grace in Kent—were counting on you, and you came through.