Each fall, school and community athletic fields are filled with four-year-olds taking their first kick at a soccer ball and high-school seniors practicing in hopes of reaching the state championship football game. At every age, children who play sports learn lessons about teamwork and the value of both winning and losing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are part of sports teams have more energy, perform better in school and are successful long after they leave the field.
Approximately 5 million uninsured kids in the U.S. may not experience the benefits of playing on a team. These kids often miss out because they can’t afford the necessary physical or treatment if they get hurt. Jackie, a 13-year-old eager to go out for her school’s track team, was one of those kids until her family learned that health coverage is available through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).