10 Apr 2014

Health Reform Brings Significant Gains in Kids Health Care Coverage

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Health Reform Brings Significant Gains in Kids Health Care Coverage

PRESS RELEASE – April 10, 2014 – Health advocates celebrated the announcement from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) today that nearly 23,000 additional children were enrolled in Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) since Oct. 1, 2013 as a result of health reform outreach efforts.

New health coverage options for adults, particularly parents, made available through health reform has led to new enrollment among children that have historically been eligible for Medicaid and CHP+, but not enrolled in the programs. While there has not been new public coverage eligibility for children since 2010, experience shows that eligible but not enrolled (EBNE) children are more likely to gain coverage if their parents have coverage.

“It is so exciting to see yet another example of health reform benefiting our most vulnerable children,” said Kristen Pieper, Project Manager for Covering Kids and Families. “These kids have long been eligible for these programs. It is gratifying to know that now that they have coverage they can access the vital health services they need to grow up healthy.”

Historically, reaching this population has been very difficult. Most recent estimates from the Colorado Health Institute indicate that, in 2012, of the approximately 116,000 uninsured children, 81,600 are eligible but not enrolled in Medicaid or CHP+, which is why today’s enrollment data from HCPF is so encouraging.

“While Colorado has seen tremendous gains in kids health coverage overall since 2008, we have struggled to reach our lowest income kids—those for whom health care is most out of reach,” said Dr. Steve Federico, Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Colorado Chapter. “This data analysis confirms what we’ve been seeing in communities over the last six months—
outreach efforts to get adults health care coverage are having real benefits for kids too.”

The data analysis released today reflects enrollment from Oct. 1, 2013 through Feb. 2014 and indicates a structural shift from enrollment trends prior to Oct. 1, 2013 , the date that Connect for Health Colorado launched and Medicaid began accepting applications for newly eligible populations.

“After the March enrollment push through Connect for Health Colorado, we’re optimistic that the coverage gains for children could be even higher,” said Cody Belzley, Vice President, Health & Strategic Initiatives, Colorado Children’s Campaign. “We look forward to continuing to monitor this growth in the months to come, as we know that reaching our goal of getting all Colorado kids covered will only happen when we reach the children eligible but not enrolled for Medicaid and CHP+ today.”

» Download the release