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Getting Iowa's Kids Covered

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding Iowa $10.6 million for getting more eligible children in the state signed up for Medicaid in 2013.

Iowa is one of 23 states to get these bonus dollars -- they're part of the final year in a five-year reward program to get more kids insured.

While that incentive has worked, doctors and administrators at the Community Health Free Clinic said some kids are still falling through the cracks.

Tracy Cavros and her son, Dominick, moved back to Iowa from Houston two weeks ago -- a lot of it was because of healthcare.

"They don't have no free clinics over there. I was looking for a free clinic over there for my son and little bit for me and him. They didn't have nothing, and that's why I came back here," Cavros said.

She brought Dominick to the Community Health Free Clinic on Thursday because he is uninsured. Cavros and her family are eligible for Medicaid, but she hasn't lived in the state long enough to meet the residency requirements.

"Because if people don't have medical, how are they going to get taken care of?" Cavros said.

Dominick is just one of about 1,000 kids the clinic sees every year without coverage. Administrators said that is not a significant number, but it does show that people still need help, and education.

"I do believe that there are some who don't know what to do to get their kids insured, so they can come here and we can help guide them through that," said physicians assistant Lori Phillips.

CEO Darlene Schmidt said she is optimistic that the Affordable Care Act will help to close some of those gaps, but there will always be lapses in coverage, and people in need of free care.

"The bottom line is: people need to have a medical home, and that means the Affordable Care Act or Hawk-I, but we want the best for the patients that have been visiting free clinics for the 18, 20 years that we've been in existence here in Cedar Rapids," Schmidt said.
 
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