A study finds the health of low-income Iowa children is improving through a program called “Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa” or HAWK-I. Pete Damiano is the primary author of the study and directs the Health Policy Research Program at the University of Iowa. He says the program reduces barriers to treatment.The HAWK-I program provides health insurance coverage for uninsured children whose families don’t qualify for Medicaid coverage. About seven thousand kids in Iowa are enrolled through the Department of Human Services. Damiano says the study was based on a comparison of parents’ responses to a survey given when their children first enrolled in HAWK-I and then one year later.Damiano, who’s also a professor of dentistry at the U-of-I, says he was surprised that many parents who were surveyed said their children were healthier after being in the program for a year. He says the kids also had fewer sick days from school. Ninety-five-percent of the parents surveyed said stress was reduced in their families by having the insurance. Three-quarters of HAWK-I is paid for with federal dollars. The other quarter comes from the state.
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