DEAR ABBY: I recently attended the funeral of my beloved Uncle Joe. Uncle Joe had never married and had no children – or so everyone thought. At the funeral a woman came up to me, showed me a photograph, and claimed it was Uncle Joe’s 31- year-old son who, she said, is stationed in the Navy in another state. The resemblance is truly remarkable!

She loaned me the picture and gave me her address. I have so many questions I wish I had asked her, but didn’t feel comfortable doing it right then. I would write her a letter, but I have no idea where to start or what to say. Have you any suggestions? – THROWN FOR A LOOP, LEWISTON, IDAHO

DEAR THROWN FOR A LOOP:
You did not mention whether your uncle had a will when he died, or whether he owned any property, so before contacting this lady you should discuss this with the rest of the family and the family lawyer. Your legal representative might want to contact the woman or the alleged son regarding any claim he might have on Uncle Joe’s estate.

As to sending a letter, take your cue from the person who’s representing you.

DEAR ABBY: Children need more than paper, pencils and a lunch box to be prepared for this school year. They also need health care coverage. Children who have health insurance are better prepared to learn in school and better equipped to succeed in life.

Unfortunately, nearly 3.3 million children in the United States are uninsured. That means one out of every 10 kids might not receive the medical care they need, when they need it.

The good news is most uninsured children are eligible for low-cost or free health care coverage through Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. These programs exist in every state and the District of Columbia and cover doctor’s visits and prescriptions, but many parents may not believe their kids are eligible. Because these parents are working, they may think they earn too much money to qualify.

Anyone who cares about an uninsured child – that includes grandparents, teachers, day care providers, ministers and others – can do his part by telling parents about these programs and urging them to get more information.

Abby, I know you share my concern that these children be allowed to start the school year off right – with good health and access to health care. Thank you for helping us connect children with the services they need. – RISA LAVIZZO-MOUREY, M.D., PRESIDENT AND CEO, ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION

DEAR DR. LAVIZZO-MOUREY:
You’re welcome. I’m pleased to help you spread the word about this important program for low-income families. With children heading back to school, your letter is a timely one.

Readers, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsors a program nationwide called Covering Kids and Families, and invites parents of uninsured children to call (toll-free) 877-543-7669, 877-KIDS-NOW to find out if your children are eligible. The need is great, so please don’t wait to place that call.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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