Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have been instrumental in reducing the number of uninsured children over the last decade, despite a decline in employer-sponsored insurance and two recessions. Statewide from 2000 to 2010, the average monthly number of children enrolled in Medicaid grew by 52 percent (over 136,000 children) and for the Kentucky CHIP (KCHIP) by 45 percent (over 20,000 children). During that same time period, 87.5 percent of Kentucky counties experienced an increase in their KCHIP enrollment numbers, with the greatest percent changes occurring in Boone, Oldham, Simpson and Spencer Counties. To see your county’s KCHIP and Medicaid enrollment data, view the 2011 County Data Book here.
Maintaining good health throughout childhood is fundamental for Kentucky’s children to develop into healthy adults, but some families do not earn enough income to afford health insurance for their children. The Medicaid program and KCHIP provide health insurance and access to health care for children from low-income households, serving as vital safety nets for these families.
As the first year of statewide Medicaid managed care continues to play out, policymakers, advocates, and the managed care organizations themselves must ensure that families are not dropped from Medicaid or KCHIP, and health outcomes improve for children by advancing the quality of care. Stayed tuned to hear more about the status of Kentucky’s new Medicaid managed care system on Thursday.
Kentucky Youth Advocates thanks the KIDS COUNT Data Sponsor ARH Foundation for Healthier Communities for their support of this KIDS COUNT indicator.