There is a strong connection between academic performance and a student’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one out of three children aged 5 to 17 years missed one or more school days due to illness or injury.

“We are reaching out today to the nearly 39,000 children who are uninsured and their parents in Kansas and encouraging them to go to, or to call 877-KIDS-NOW to find out if they are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and to apply for coverage,” said Dr. Cara James, the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Don’t assume that your family makes too much money or too little. Check into it.

“Many of the children who are uninsured, they are eligible for the program, but their parents don’t know it,” said Dr. James. “Medicaid and CHIP, or KanCare in Kansas tend to provide coverage for children and teens in a family of four who are earning up to $50,000 a year or more.”

You can sign up for Medicaid and CHIP at any time during the year, provided you fall under the income guidelines.

“It’s a good time to do it now,” said Dr. James. “School is starting. Parents may be signing their kids up for after-school programs or sports may be starting up again.”

If you are already a KanCare recipient, be checking your mail for official correspondence to be sure any renewal paperwork is filed in a timely manner, as legislative changes may change the process for your individual situation.