CoverKids Back to School Effort Seeks to Enroll More Children in Comprehensive Insurance Plan

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | 6:23am

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced the 2009 Back to School CoverKids outreach campaign to help enroll Tennessee’s children in the state’s free, comprehensive health insurance plan.

“The back to school season is the perfect time to remind families about the great opportunity we have with CoverKids,” said Governor Bredesen. “During the coming days and weeks, we’ll be sending enrollment information home with school children and think this will continue to grow enrollment for the program.”

Through a partnership with the state Department of Education, a flier with CoverKids program details and enrollment instructions will be distributed in the back to school packet of every public school student in Tennessee.
Now in its third year, the back to school outreach effort has proven to be one of the most effective ways of promoting CoverKids, which provides coverage for everything from physician visits to hospitalization to dental and vision care. The 2007 and 2008 efforts combined to enroll more than half of the program’s total membership, which currently sits at 40,000 children.
“Tennessee is certainly fortunate to be able to bring this program to uninsured children,” said Dr. Andrea D. Willis, program director of CoverKids. “And we’re proud to have the Department of Education as a partner in helping us get the word out to parents about how they can enroll their children and ensure they have proper health coverage and care.”
Launched in 2007, CoverKids is Tennessee’s plan under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, a federally-funded effort to provide coverage for children in families who do not qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford private coverage.
Tennessee families earning less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $55,125 per year for a family of four, can qualify for CoverKids and will pay no monthly premium for the plan. Income-based co-pays are required for most services, though preventive care, including well-child visits, teeth cleanings and vision screenings are fully covered.
Children must also be uninsured for three months in order to be eligible, though exceptions apply for children coming off TennCare or in cases of an involuntary or voluntary loss of employment.
Interested families can apply online for CoverKids at or by calling
1-866-620-8864 to request a paper application.
CoverKids is a program of Cover Tennessee, Governor Phil Bredesen’s initiative to address the health care needs of Tennessee’s uninsured. Cover Tennessee’s offers three other programs, including CoverTN, a limited benefit health plan for the working uninsured. AccessTN offers comprehensive health insurance for those who are uninsurable due to pre-existing medical conditions and CoverRx provides access to affordable prescriptions for Tennesseans who lack pharmacy benefits. 
For more information about any of the Cover Tennessee programs, visit or call
# # #