May 31, 2019

Fewer Florida children enrolled in Medicaid, CHIP in 2018, report says [WJCT]

Julio Ochoa writes:

“The number of children covered by Medicaid declined in Florida and other states for the first time in more than a decade.

With the unemployment rate at historic lows, that could mean that more children are being covered by their parents’ employers. But some experts say something else is at play.

‘It’s true that Medicaid is sensitive to changes in the economy,’ said Tricia Brooks, lead author of a report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families that examines the drop. “But while enrollment growth historically slows during favorable economic times, it’s really unusual for there to be a decline in enrollment.’

Nearly 70,000 fewer children in Florida enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP during 2018, according to the report. Those programs had seen enrollment increase or stay the same in all but one year since 2000. The growth coincided with historic drops in the nation’s uninsured rate for children.

'Florida already has a growing number of children becoming uninsured, and these declining enrollments in children’s Medicaid and KidCare is a sign that it is getting worse,' said Sadaf Knight, CEO of the nonpartisan Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added]."


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