Teachers cannot teach to an empty desk and children without health insurance miss an average of three more days of school per year than their insured peers. The THK School Based Outreach project has been operating in school districts throughout California since 2002 to promote the enrollment of students into no or low cost health insurance; resulting in enrollments of thousands of children.
THK Health Outreach brings together health plans and teachers who are dedicated to improving the health of students and increasing their opportunities for academic success. Working with parents, school nurses, school support staff, administrators, government agencies and community groups, the project seeks to ensure that all eligible children and families obtain no or low cost medical, dental, vision coverage.
A typical THK project begins with a planning session including representatives of the school district, local CTA, health plan partners, and THK. Together we identify the district’s schools with the highest eligible and uninsured population and assign each of these schools to one of our health plan partners. The health plan representatives will help to educate faculty at each of their assigned schools about the project and deliver outreach materials to the schools. Before the start of the project, the district will issue a letter to school administrators introducing Teachers for Healthy Kids and outlining the outreach which will be taking place in their district. Plan representatives will assemble packets for each classroom which include an informational form for each student to deliver to his or her parent and a cover letter for the teacher detailing the project and distribution instructions. The form will briefly describe the options available for low or no-cost health coverage and offer assistance with the enrollment process.
Approximately two weeks later, health plan partners will return to the schools to pick up returned forms. Parents who indicate they are interested in more information, will be contacted by a health plan representative who will be able to assist with the enrollment process. At the close of a THK project, health plan representatives will submit enrollment tracking forms which summarize the success of the project. Since its inception, THK projects have resulted in the enrollment of approximately 250,000 individuals in health coverage. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the official start of open enrollment in
Covered California, we anticipate each project will be able to enroll significantly more individuals in low cost health care plans who previously may have been ineligible.
For more information about the low and no cost plans THK works to enroll families in, visit our page on the Affordable Care Act.
THK Health Outreach is always looking for new opportunities to work with schools, school districts, and communities. If you would like a THK Health Outreach project for your school or district, please contact us.