KidsCare enrollment resumes 6 years after freeze

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Dozens rallied at the state Capitol in April hoping lawmakers will bring back KidsCare (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Dozens rallied at the state Capitol in April hoping lawmakers will bring back KidsCare (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation restoring a health insurance program for about 30,000 low-income children just a few hours after it passed the Legislature in May. (Source: Gov. Doug Ducey) Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation restoring a health insurance program for about 30,000 low-income children just a few hours after it passed the Legislature in May. (Source: Gov. Doug Ducey)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Low-income families caught in the economic middle can once again enroll their children into the federally subsidized healthcare plan known as KidsCare.

This comes six years after the state froze enrollment during the depths of the Great Recession.

RELATED: US OKs end to Arizona enrollment freeze in program for kids

Enrollment, once again, started Tuesday and it's estimated 30,000 children will receive coverage over the next year.

"These are working poor families, so some of these families are just over the income threshold level for Medicaid and can't find an  affordable healthcare option," said Claudia Maldonado, a program director for Keogh Health Connection, one of the medical firms signing kids up.

The fight to reinstate KidsCare was one of the biggest political fights at the state Capitol this year.

RELATED: Gov. Doug Ducey signs KidsCare bill (May 6, 2016)

RELATED: Rally at AZ capitol to bring back KidsCare (April 11, 2016)

RELATED: Backers fight for children's health insurance in Arizona (April 11, 2016)

After public pressure, state leaders pushed the measure through to the relief of hard working parents.

"It's tough. I make a decent living but I don't make enough of a living to buy my own private insurance for four kids," said Vincent Christie, a father of four.

Christie was one of the parents who struggled to take care of his children the state halted KidsCare enrollment. 

"I bought remedies at CVS or Walgreens and just fought through it," he said. 

The federal government will pay the costs associated with the healthcare program for at least the next year -- and possibly the next three.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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