A report from the Legislative Services Agency indicates that by this fall, nearly 39,000 Iowa children were enrolled in the government-paid health insurance program called "HAWK-I." Hawk-I — which stands for "Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa" — was created in 1998.

It’s designed to cover kids who live in a household that isn’t poor enough to qualify for government-paid Medicaid, but that parents likely lack the resources to buy private insurance as their household income is at about 200% of the poverty level.

The program uses state and federal government money to buy a private insurance policy that covers regular check-ups, general doctor and hospital care as well as regular visits to the dentist and eye doctor. In its first year, Iowa parents had enrolled about 10,000 children in HAWK-I.

There are now about 39,000 Iowa kids enrolled in the program. About 12,000 more are eligible, but their parents haven’t filled out the paperwork to enroll them in HAWK-I.