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About Alicia Whatley

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So far Alicia Whatley has created 13 blog entries.

Updates on 2021 Medicaid Changes for Kentucky Kids and Families

January 1st marked the start of new Medicaid plans for 2021. This year, there are several changes and updates to the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) providing health, oral health, and behavioral health coverage for Kentuckians.  A new MCO, United Healthcare, has been approved and began providing coverage in 2021. Any new Medicaid members who did not select an MCO have been automatically assigned to United Healthcare. United Healthcare has also been designated as the primary [...]

By |2021-01-14T18:47:05-05:00January 14th, 2021|Blog, Health, Medicaid|

Expanding Local Control to Curb Youth Tobacco Use and Improve Health

As Kentucky’s 2021 General Assembly kicks off this week, many policy items from the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children will be filed as bills for consideration. Among these priorities is expanding local control to allow city and county governments the option to regulate the use, display, sale, and distribution of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. This policy will allow city and county governments to respond to their local needs and tailor their ordinances to these needs. City and county governments could take [...]

By |2021-01-08T09:43:25-05:00January 7th, 2021|Blog, Health|

2020 Recap & Update on P-EBT Benefit

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many schools in Kentucky being closed for in-person learning since March. To help provide food supports for families, Kentucky has leveraged a federal program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). These benefits provide money that can be used on grocery items in place of free meals that children would receive at school. The first round of P-EBT covered the school days spent learning [...]

By |2020-12-17T17:21:49-05:00December 17th, 2020|Blog, Education, Health|

Medicaid & Supporting Youth in Foster Care

Kentucky’s youth in foster care are a vulnerable population who need access to comprehensive health coverage. Youth in foster care and who have aged out of foster care have disproportionately high rates of serious physical, mental, and behavioral health issues. They are more likely to have health issues that affect their day-to-day functioning and more likely to need psychological and substance abuse counseling. Many youth formerly in foster care live at or below the poverty [...]

By |2020-12-10T14:10:45-05:00December 10th, 2020|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Health|

Open Enrollment 2021 is Here!

The 2021 open enrollment period for health insurance began November 2, 2020 and goes through December 15th. Let’s make sure everyone who is eligible signs up for the health insurance they need to stay healthy. Medicaid and the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP) provides free or low-cost health coverage to low-income Kentucky families, pregnant women, and children in foster care. This coverage will provide Kentuckians the access to receive routine health care services and [...]

By |2020-11-12T08:57:14-05:00November 4th, 2020|Blog, Health, Medicaid|

Good News! Pandemic-EBT Benefits Have Been Extended

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, food security continues to be a top priority for many Kentucky families. Last school year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Pandemic-EBT to allow families of Kentucky students to receive money for groceries to replace meals missed at school due to distance learning during the pandemic. The USDA has now approved Kentucky to provide Pandemic-EBT to students for August and September 2020. This round of benefits will be [...]

By |2020-10-29T13:11:30-04:00September 28th, 2020|Blog, Education, Health|

Promoting Cessation to End Teen Vaping

In Kentucky, rates of youth cigarette smoking have been decreasing, but the usage of e-cigarettes has surged. The percentage of twelfth grade Kentucky students using e-cigarettes jumped from 12.2% to 26.7% from 2016 to 2018. This upward trend for youth e-cigarette use is being seen by high schools nationwide with 25% of all high school students reporting use of electronic nicotine products in 2019. While teen vaping has increased, new research from JAMA Pediatrics indicates [...]

By |2020-09-03T15:19:26-04:00September 1st, 2020|Blog, Health|

Utilizing Expanded Access Services in the New School Year

As we move through the summer months and families begin preparing for back-to-school, many questions and answers still remain. What we do know is that this upcoming school year will bring new challenges, experiences, and opportunities for Kentucky students. One opportunity Kentucky schools can leverage is utilizing the Expanded Access Services program to recognize and address the social and emotional supports students need as they begin the new school year. During the 2019-2020 school year, [...]

By |2020-07-21T15:44:10-04:00July 21st, 2020|Blog, Education, Health|

Pandemic-EBT: What It Is and How to Apply

Updated June 25, 2020 Access to food has increasingly become a topic of concern for Kentucky families and advocates, especially for those with children who typically receive meals at school. Last week, the Commonwealth received good news on an important benefit for families during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefit, which was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is available to Kentucky households with a child or children [...]

By |2020-11-24T08:53:28-05:00May 28th, 2020|Blog, Economic Security, Education, Health|

Reminders for the Family During Dental Care Month

As we head into the second half of May, we hope everyone takes time to recognize and celebrate National Dental Care Month. This month-long celebration is a chance for oral health professionals, parents, teachers, advocates, and community members to build awareness about the importance of preventive dental care for individuals of all ages.   Key factors of maintaining good overall health throughout our childhood and adulthood include establishing positive oral hygiene habits and receiving routine dental care. Routine care allows for early detection of issues that display in the mouth and helps [...]

By |2020-05-27T12:40:52-04:00May 12th, 2020|Blog, Health|
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