Keeping Children Enrolled in Medicaid and KCHIP

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).

An ongoing issue with Medicaid and KCHIP is ensuring that all eligible children are enrolled in the programs, thus reducing the rate of uninsured children. In 2008, as a result of the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children, Governor Beshear took steps to simplify the enrollment process by removing the requirement for families to have a face-to-face interview prior to enrolling their children. The Governor also increased outreach efforts across the state to target eligible families. Since the implementation of his plan, thousands more eligible children are enrolled in KCHIP and Medicaid.

Our Work

  • 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.