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Projections Show 4,400 More Kids to Receive Health Coverage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—November 15, 2007

OLYMPIA – The November caseload forecast for Washington state government projects 4,400 more kids will receive health coverage through the state’s health insurance programs over the remainder of the 2007-09 biennium.

“Providing kids with health coverage is the most cost-effective way to keep children healthy,” said Victor Moore, director of the Governor’s budget office.  “Kids without health insurance end up in emergency rooms receiving treatment at a much greater cost to the state.  An emergency room visit costs $200, compared to $50 for a doctor’s office appointment.”

Governor Gregoire has led an effort in our state to make sure that by 2010 all Washington kids have access to quality, affordable health care coverage and care.  More than 80,000 children have received health coverage since Governor Gregoire took office.

“Gov. Gregoire and the people of Washington place a high value on helping all kids stay healthy, and we want to do it in the most cost-effective way possible,” Moore said.

The Children’s forecast is composed of three component forecasts: Categorically Needy (CN) Other Children, a Medicaid program, the State Children’s Health Program (SCHIP) and the Children’s Health Program (CHP).

Contact: Glenn Kuper, Office of Financial Management, 360-902-7607