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UNITED WAY GRANT HELPS UNINSURED KIDS RECEIVE BLUES' HEALTH CARE COVERAGE

 UNITED WAY GRANT HELPS UNINSURED KIDS
 RECEIVE BLUES' HEALTH CARE COVERAGE
 DETROIT, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Caring Program for Children has received a $78,650 grant from the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to provide free Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan preventive health care coverage to more than 220 uninsured children from the seven-county, southeast Michigan area.
 Since the Caring Program began last November, some 1,400 uninsured children have received free preventive, outpatient health care. The United Way grant will be used to enroll children from the Caring Program's waiting list, which now numbers over 3,000.
 The program is a joint, non-profit effort by the Blues, the Michigan Health Care Education and Research Foundation (MHCERF) and the state of Michigan that helps uninsured children receive health care coverage through donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.
 "United Way's contribution is an example of what can be done to help uninsured children obtain the health care they need and deserve," said Richard E. Whitmer, Blues president and chief executive officer. "By working together, we can make a difference ... one child at a time."
 The monies were awarded under the United Way's venture grant program which provides seed money to new community programs designed to help lower-income families. Funding was made possible through the Comprehensive Health Planning Council's board of trustees.
 "We are pleased to support this innovative program which helps address the needs of uninsured Michigan children," said Seymour Gordon, M.D., chairman of United Way's venture grant committee.
 "The need out there is great," said Gordon, "and we hope others will join us in contributing to the Caring Program for Children."
 Youngsters in the program receive a special package of outpatient services, including office visits, outpatient surgery, emergency care, prescription drugs and diagnostic services. Hospitalization is not included.
 "The Caring Program is a cooperative effort to work toward a solution to a critical societal problem, access to health care for youngsters," said William S. Hoffman, Ph.D., chairman of the MHCERF Caring Program Oversight Subcommittee.
 The Blues donate administrative services, including claims processing, so every private dollar raised goes directly to health services for children. The state of Michigan helps inform families and is seeking the release of federal matching funds. MHCERF, the Blues' non-profit research and philanthropic affiliate, sponsors the program.
 "We are working on developing a collaborative funding partnership among many philanthropic and charitable groups in our community to help enroll youngsters in the Caring Program," said Ira Strumwasser, MHCERF executive director. "We hope to integrate the program into the fabric of the state's philanthropic community."
 The Caring Program accepts donations in any amount from individuals or groups. A contribution of $354 will cover one child for a year. Contributors of $3,540 or more may earmark their donations to help children from a particular school, city or county.
 Donations can be made to the Caring Program for Children, Department B241, 600 E. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226. Donations generally are tax- deductible. The donor information line is 1-800-543-7765.
 Families interested in applying for coverage must submit an enrollment application, which is available by calling 1-800-848-5101.
 -0- 9/16/92
 /CONTACT: Helen Stojic of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, 313-225-7975/ CO: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan; United Way for Southeastern
 Michigan ST: Michigan IN: INS HEA SU:


JG -- DE007 -- 0021 09/16/92 10:28 EDT
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Date:Sep 16, 1992
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