The state Health Department will hold ten forums around Iowa in May to come up with ways to cover people who don’t have health insurance. State planning-grant project director Ann Kinzel says Iowa was one of eleven states chosen because our rate of uninsured citizens already is low.According to census data, Iowa has the second-lowest uninsured population, at only nine-point-two percent. The state will share data on the uninsured with community leaders, employers, healthcare workers and concerned citizens. Kinzel says most people don’t realize nearly ten percent of Iowans lack health coverage.Two-thirds of Iowa’s uninsured earn less than 30-thousand dollars a year. Eighty percent have jobs. Kinzel says a surprising number even work two jobs, but it may be part-time and carries no health benefits. She says the poor may get some medical care, but it’s often too late.Low-income people often get an illness detected too late, so treatment is difficult or does little good. Kinzel adds some uninsured people wait till a health problem is so bad they must resort to emergency-room treatment, which costs more than preventive care. In the ten meetings next month, the state hopes to gather attitudes and ideas about how it can expand health insurance to cover more Iowans. Forums will be: May 1st in Ankeny; May 4th in Ottumwa; May 8th in Mason City; May 10th in Denison; May 12th in Council Bluffs; May 14th in Creston; May 17th in Sioux City; May 22nd in Cedar Falls; May 23rd in Cedar Rapids and May 24th in Bettendorf.
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