Health & Medicine

Beshear announces elimination of KCHIP premiums

Low-income families in the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program, which offers free or low-cost health insurance to eligible children, will no longer have to pay monthly premiums for their child.

Some KCHIP families were required to pay a $20 monthly premium to receive coverage for their children. Previously, KCHIP families whose income was over 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level paid the premium. The change will affect 12,100 families and more than 16,000 children.

KCHIP covers services including dental, medical, vision, hearing and hospitalization.

Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, called the move a "positive step forward for children's health."

Brooks said that more than 700 children a month had been dropped from the KCHIP program because of premium non-payment.