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Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a two-fold problem.

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Report: Maryland Sees Sharp One-Year Increase in Uninsured Children

Maryland has some pretty good numbers when it comes to health care coverage for children, but saw a sharp one-year increase, a new report says. (cdc.gov)
Maryland has some pretty good numbers when it comes to health care coverage for children, but saw a sharp one-year increase, a new report says. (cdc.gov)
October 27, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland's rate of uninsured children is lower than the national average, according to a report released today by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

The report shows that in 2015, 3.9 percent of children in Maryland were uninsured, leaving about 52,000 children without coverage.

Eva Stahl, director of the Community Catalyst Children's Health Project for New England Alliance for Children's Health, says there are many benefits to increasing the number of children with access to health insurance.

"They're able to get preventative care that they need to stay healthy and then they also then have access to a doctor when they're not,” she explains. “And over the long run this really can reduce health care costs and it also improves children's ability to succeed in school."

Nationally, the uninsured rate saw its sharpest two-year decline on record, as 95 percent of children had health coverage in 2015.

While the report shows Maryland's rate is lower at less than 4 percent, it was the only state to see a sharp one-year increase between 2014 and 2015.

Joan Alker, executive director at the Georgetown Center and the report's lead author, notes the drop in the number of uninsured children was widespread across income, racial and geographic lines.

She attributes that to major provisions of the Affordable Care Act complementing other important programs and policies.

"We see success around the country and I think this speaks to how despite all of the fighting and very intense partisanship around the Affordable Care Act, we can feel good as a country that we've come together through Medicaid, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and the Affordable Care Act and really reduced the number of uninsured children," she states.

In order to continue the positive trend, Alker contends work must continue to strengthen Medicaid, CHIP and the Affordable Care Act.


Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD