Missed Opportunity: Are Your Kids Eligible for Hawki?
This month, Des Moines Parent is inviting you to learn more about Hawki! Your kids just might qualify for this unique insurance coverage! In fact, many working families don’t know that they are eligible, making this resource highly underutilized. Don’t miss out on a chance to save money!
This interview was conducted with Gena Fernandez, EveryStep’s Hawki Coordinator. Gena‘s job is to help families find out if they are eligible for Hawki and other resources and to walk them through the process from start to finish. She can also connect families with doctors and dentists! Throughout the year, Gena helps dozens of working families find relief from burdensome medical bills and hefty insurance costs from private companies.
First, what is Hawki?
Gena: Hawki is part of the state of Iowa’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Hawki is an acronym for Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa. CHIP provides insurance to children through Medicaid and Hawki, which is administered by the state according to federal requirements and funded jointly by state and federal government.
Who does Hawki help?
Gena: Hawki is for children living in Iowa ages 1 through 18 who are part of families with an annual household income between 180 percent and 302 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. For example, a family of four that makes between $44,256 and $80,030 annually would qualify. Many working families are unaware that their children qualify.
What needs can Hawki meet for those who are eligible?
Gena: Hawki offers a wide range of core benefits, plus some additional benefits through the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) and dental benefits through Delta Dental. Core benefits include doctor visits, check-ups, immunizations, surgery, prescription medications, mental health services, vision exam and glasses, and more.
What is something that might surprise people about Hawki?
Gena: Something that may surprise families about working with EveryStep is our Hawki Outreach Specialists can offer immediate, same-day coverage for Presumptive Eligibility Medicaid while waiting for DHS to process their application for Hawki. This way children do not have to wait up to 45 days without coverage and can get the medical/dental attention they need right away.
How does the Hawki program fit in with the mission of EveryStep?
Gena: EveryStep offers care, support, and empowerment during vulnerable and difficult moments to entire families. I believe the Hawki program is a great resource for those families who are underinsured or paying too much for private insurance. We try to make it an easy process by offering application assistance, answering questions, and advocating for our families when needed.
What makes you proud about working with the Hawki program?
Gena: I’m proud of the Hawki benefits offered to children, the free or affordable premiums, the people I work with who genuinely care for and advocate for families, and the outreach efforts we are involved in.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Hawki! Friendly and knowledgeable EveryStep staff members like Gena are available to help you find out if your kids qualify for coverage. Just call (515) 558-6243 or fill out a simple form at www.everystep.org/hawki.