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Report: Maryland a Leader in Covering Kids

PHOTO: Something to smile about: A new report shows Maryland is in the top tier nationwide when it comes to making sure children have health insurance. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith
PHOTO: Something to smile about: A new report shows Maryland is in the top tier nationwide when it comes to making sure children have health insurance. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith
November 7, 2014

BALTIMORE - Maryland is in the top tier nationwide when it comes to making sure children have health insurance.

A report from the Georgetown Center for Children and Families found that the state's uninsured rate is 4.4 percent - slightly better than the 4.6 percent rate two years ago. The state is ranked 12th best.

Neha Trivedi, health policy director at Advocates for Children and Youth, said progress was made when Maryland's Medicaid expansion was tied to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). However, she said, there is great concern about the future of CHIP - which is up for reauthorization in Congress next year.

"The state can stand to lose as much as $110 million in federal funding if CHIP is not re-funded," she said.

The report noted that, overall, progress in reducing the number of uninsured children has stalled nationally.

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown Center, said researchers found that children in Hispanic families were more likely to be uninsured.

"The other interesting finding this year," she said, "is that children in working families living on the brink of poverty are those that have the highest rate of un-insurance, compared with other income groups."

Trivedi added that those findings show where they need to focus more outreach. The national uninsurance rate for children is 7.1 percent, or slightly more than 5 million children.

The full report is online at ccf.georgetown.edu.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD