School Bus Helps Get Medical Coverage for Uninsured Children - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

School Bus Helps Get Medical Coverage for Uninsured Children

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KENNEWICK, Wash-- More than 75k children in Washington State don't have health insurance. One way state leaders are taking action to lower that number is through a travelling school bus.

It's called the Apple Health Bus for Kids and it's job is to help raise awareness for children without medical coverage. The bus stopped in Kennewick today and the Department of Social and Health Services was there helping families get access to government programs.

If you're a parent and you have a sick child you want to do everything you can to get them well again, but for almost 5 percent of children living in Benton, Franklin, and Yakima counties remedies are slim because they are uninsured.

"This is a population that doesn't seek care until they're really sick," said Jean Murrow, RN at Grace Clinic in Kennewick. 

Grace Clinic is a faith based clinic that serves the uninsured. Time and time again she sees impoverished families who are not aware of their options.

"If they had preventive care it's less expensive and better because it doesn't spread disease. They can go to school healthy and they can get a better education. We can start to intervene and stop the cycle of poverty," said Murrow.

The state is taking action through outreach programs, like this bus. They've insured 84k children, but they still have 75k more to go.

The bus was parked all day today at the Benton-Franklin Health District Clinic in Kennewick and will be there from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow.

"To be qualified for children's medical assistance you need to have a four year household income at or below the federal poverty limit," said Paul Overby, Administrator at DSHS.

If you stop by the clinic, they will have plenty of forms available. It's simple to fill one out and they're only one page long.  

Tomorrow the Pubilc Health Department will be offering vacinations for children as well.