Children’s Health Coverage and Access

All children, especially those living in low-income and vulnerable families, need access to affordable health care.

Managed Care

Since 2011, Kentucky has undergone major changes to its Medicaid which provides health coverage to many low-income children by bringing in multiple private companies to run Medicaid. Kentucky Youth Advocates is monitoring Medicaid managed care in Kentucky to ensure children’s health is not negatively affected.

Health Reform

The Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010. Kentucky Youth Advocates is a leading voice in ensuring the changes resulting from health reform both increase health coverage of Kentucky’s vulnerable children and families and improve access to care.

Keeping Eligible Kids and Young Adults Enrolled in Medicaid and KCHIP

Kentucky has made many improvements to Medicaid and the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP) to make it easier for eligible children to get and stay enrolled in health coverage. Kentucky Youth Advocates continually works to encourage state leaders to further simplify enrollment and renewal procedures in Medicaid and KCHIP to reduce gaps in coverage.

All young adults need access to quality physical and mental health care to be healthy, capable, and productive citizens of the Commonwealth. States are now required to extend Medicaid coverage to age 26 for those aging out of foster care; this provision ensures that these young people – just like their peers in permanent families – can reap the benefits of uninterrupted health coverage. Many youth may not know of this coverage or how to enroll.  Use this flier to help promote these services and encourage youth to enroll.

Our Work

  • Kentucky Youth Advocates is monitoring Medicaid managed care to ensure children’s health is not negatively affected. We are talking with parents of children on Medicaid and KCHIP through focus groups to identify ongoing issues and also positive experiences with the new system to use in our advocacy efforts with state officials and the General Assembly.
  • Kentucky Youth Advocates serves on the Health Benefit Exchange Advisory Board appointed by Governor Beshear to oversee the creation of the exchange. We worked to ensure that the new system was affordable and easy to navigate for families. kynect went live for open enrollment October 1, 2013. You can find out if you or your family is eligible for Medicaid, discounted insurance, or other private insurance by visiting
  • Kentucky Youth Advocates worked hard with our coalition partners at Kentucky Voices for Health on a campaign to encourage Governor Beshear to expand Medicaid up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level for low-income adults as this will provide coverage for many parents. We applaud Governor Beshear for opting to expand Medicaid in the summer of 2013. Click here to read our brief on how Kentucky children will benefit from Medicaid expansion.
  • In 2010, Kentucky Youth Advocates successfully worked with partners to eliminate premiums for children on KCHIP, making coverage more affordable for low-income working families.
  • In 2013, Kentucky Youth Advocates worked with the Children’s Health Technical Advisory Committee and other partners on a successful campaign for the state to remove the 6-month waiting period which required a child to go without insurance for 6-months before enrolling in KCHIP when they moved from private to public coverage (KCHIP). We also successfully advocated for the state to make changes so that all children that are legally in the United States and qualify for the program can enroll in KCHIP.