NU Online News Service, Aug. 3, 2004, 4:55 p.m. EDT

Big companies are helping public health officials promote free and low-cost children’s health insurance programs.[@@]

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, N.J., has persuaded more than 170 national organizations, including many corporations that have the ability to reach low-income and moderate-income consumers, to join Covering Kids & Families, a campaign to publicize Medicaid and state Children’s Health Insurance Programs.

In some areas, the annual income limit for subsidized CHIP coverage could be as high as $37,000 for a family of 4.

Public health experts have estimated that about 6 million of the 9 million U.S. children who lack health coverage are eligible for Medicaid, CHIP or other health coverage programs.

Companies supporting the Covering Kids campaign include Capital One Financial Corp., McLean, Va., and Giant Food L.L.C., Landover, Md.

Capital One is adding information about the toll-free children’s health insurance hotline, (877) KIDS-NOW, to its monthly credit card billing statements, and Giant Food is printing the hotline number on milk cartons, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.