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Uninsured Children Numbers Drop in Iowa

More U.S. children are getting healthcare coverage, and the rate in Iowa has improved above the national average. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More U.S. children are getting healthcare coverage, and the rate in Iowa has improved above the national average. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
October 29, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa – Thanks to expanded health coverage opportunities, there are 6,500 more Iowa children with health insurance. A new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families says that's a 21.9 percent drop in the number of uninsured children in just one year.

Charles Bruner, director of the Child and Family Policy Center in Des Moines, says the change is in large part due to entire families enrolling for coverage.

"We know that if parents are covered and have an opportunity for coverage, they're more likely to get their kids covered as well," he says. "We want to do better, but we have come a long way in terms of reducing the number of kids who don't have coverage."

Iowa's drop in the number of uninsured children was nearly six percent greater than the national average.

Iowa will soon enter a managed-care arrangement for both Medicaid and the Hawk-I program for children. Bruner says those changes will require continued public education about available options.

"I think the greatest challenge going forward is going to be continued awareness, and then assurance, that once kids do get coverage, they receive the primary and preventive health services they need," says Bruner. "We've got to assure that going into managed care there's still an emphasis upon getting kids into a primary-care physician and a regular medical home."

Iowa's private managed care system will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Jeff Stein, Public News Service - IA