“Back to School” Initiative to Promote Enrollment in Dr. Dynasaur Program

For Immediate Release: September 2, 2003

Contact: Garry Schaedel
Vermont Department of Health
(802- 652-4184)

BURLINGTON—Vermont Commissioners of Health, Education, and PATH announce an initiative today to enroll children in the state’s health insurance program known as Dr. Dynasaur.

As part of a national effort, called “Back to School”, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, New Jersey has awarded grants to all 50 states to promote the enrollment of children in health insurance at the beginning of the school year. Vermont has received a grant of $50,000 to participate in this effort.

The Vermont initiative includes the distribution of over 100,000 postage-paid return postcards. These cards will be given to all Vermont children during their first few weeks of school to take home to their parents or guardians. The cards briefly describe income eligibility and contact information.

“The Dr. Dynasaur program emphasizes prevention and early detection of illness,” said Health Department Commissioner Dr. Paul Jarris. “Vermonters with children can be employed, have other health insurance, and still qualify for Dr. Dynasaur.”

“I urge anyone who is interested in the Dr. Dynasaur program to return the postage paid card to receive information in the mail,” said PATH Commissioner John Michael Hall. “They can also call toll free (1-800-250-8427) on weekdays and speak with a benefits counselor if they are interested in the program.”

“We want our children to be healthy and excel in school,” said Education Commissioner David Larsen. “Dr. Dynasaur provides the coverage needed to ensure all children receive immunizations and other preventive services that can keep them healthy and ready to learn.”

Dr, Dynasaur is a state program administered through the Vermont Department of PATH. It covers children from birth up through age 18. A family of four can earn up to $55,200 and their children can qualify for the program.