Monday, August 2, 2021

Play

Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients are paying monthly premiums when they donít have to; Dr. Fauci predicts the pandemic will get worse.

Play

The Texas voting rights fight gets star power; lawmakers stage a sit-in as the eviction moratorium expires; and Senators work overtime on infrastructure.

Major Increase in Montana's Child Uninsurance Rate

Play

Monday, October 12, 2020   

BILLINGS, Mont. -- The number of Montana children without health coverage has gone up by 25%, according to a new report which said the increase came during stronger economic times.

The findings from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families cover a three-year period, from 2016 to 2019.

Montana had an estimated 15,000 uninsured children last year, compared to 12,000 in 2016.

Xanna Burg, KIDS COUNT coordinator for Montana, said because the data is pre-pandemic, they don't know how many more families have lost coverage.

But she added there's real concern the number is growing.

"We do know that families are struggling," Burg emphasized. "You know people are losing their jobs and with it, the health insurance that came with those jobs."

The report cites constant changes to the Affordable Care Act and more red tape in various states as possible factors for rate spikes.

Montana has accepted a Medicaid expansion in recent years, but there have also been efforts to attach a work requirement for eligibility.

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, said while there have been attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, including funding cuts for outreach and enrollment, that doesn't mean states shouldn't be doing all they can to help families qualify for assistance programs.

"States do have enormous power here," Alker explained. "However, they can't entirely outrun the federal context. We're going to have to see a renewed commitment at all levels of government, federal and state, to turn this situation around."

Meanwhile, Burg said one of the glaring concerns in Montana is that nearly 22% of American Indian children don't have coverage. She cites chronic underfunding of the Indian Health Service (IHS) program.

"The IHS has been severely underfunded for a long time," Burg contended. "It receives only half the amount per-person that Medicaid receives. "

Statewide, Montana's rate of uninsured children was more than 6% in 2019, higher than the national average of 5.7%.

Disclosure: Georgetown University Center for Children and Families contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Some tenants' advocates would like Virginia's new budget proposal for American Rescue Plan funding to include money for low-income renters to hire lawyers for eviction cases. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …


Social Issues

ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …

Social Issues

DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …


The Blackfeet Reservation is one of seven tribal reservations in Montana. (Kushnirov Avraham/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …

A new pilot program in Texas is teaching college students about the agriculture industry and career options they might not otherwise have considered. (ionlfox/Pixabay)

Social Issues

AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …

Social Issues

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …

Health and Wellness

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Local health departments that rely heavily on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses say the costly contract requirement that they be …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021