Open house aims to decrease number of uninsured Utah children

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SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – An event was held Saturday with an aim to help Utah families learn about how to get low-cost or free health insurance coverage through programs like CHIP and Medicaid.

The Health Care Open House was put on by the Sorenson Unity Center at 1383 South 900 West Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the help of Salt Lake City officials and community leaders.

Utah Rep. Angela Romero, District-26, was at the event and spoke about the issue.

“Our concern here in House District 26 is we’re the most diverse district in the state of Utah, and we have the highest number of people uninsured,” Romero said.

Salt Lake County is one of the top 20 counties in the nation for number of uninsured children. About 11 percent, or about 100,000 kids, lack health insurance in Utah.

"Our goal is to provide opportunities in the neighborhood since we have such a high number of people that are uninsured,” Romero said.

The Sorenson Unity Center teamed up with The Utah Aids Foundation, Voices for Utah Children, Communities United, the Utah Pride Center, HIP Utah and the Utah Healthy Policy Project to make the event happen.

Barbara Munoz is a communication specialist for Voices for Utah Children, and she said it’s important to raise awareness for the issue.

“One of the things that we’re most excited about with this event at the Sorenson Center, and with other health care outreach events, is that we have more people talking to parents about getting their kids enrolled in health care insurance,” Munoz said.

Munoz said there are more resources for those in need than they might think.

“We’re available to them, we’re affordable, things that their family can now have the peace of mind that comes with health insurance coverage,” she said.

Saturday’s event also included free flu shots and free health screenings for diabetes.

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