More Maryland Kids Getting Health Insurance
Thursday, November 21, 2013
BALTIMORE – Most of the headlines about health insurance have been discouraging for many people lately, but here in Maryland there's good news about coverage for children.
A new Georgetown University Center for Children and Families report found that Maryland is among the top 10 states in the nation when it comes to making sure children have health insurance.
Health policy expert Leigh Cobb with Advocates for Children and Youth in Maryland says there are several reasons why the number of uninsured children in the state has dropped a full percentage point over the past two years.
"First, the Medicaid expansion to parents of children,” she points out. “We know as parents get enrolled, so do their children. And the second thing was improving enrollment and renewal strategies – streamlining the enrollment process."
The report revealed that about 96 percent of children in Maryland had health insurance coverage – compared with 86 percent of adults under age 65.
Joan Alker, executive director of Georgetown Center for Children and Families, says even though the poverty rates are increasing, Maryland has been successful in making sure children stay insured through programs such as Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
"Very few Americans are aware of the success that our country has had through Medicaid and CHIP in reducing the number of uninsured children,” she says. “And I think that's an important good news story that needs to get out."
Cobb agrees, and hopes the success of those joint federal-state programs will inspire optimism about the future of the Affordable Care Act.
"CHIP also took awhile to get off the ground, as did the Medicare prescription drug program,” she says. “There really are terrific opportunities for the federal government and the states to work together."
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