A new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families found that the number of uninsured children in Iowa has reduced by 21.9 percent in one year. Expanded health coverage opportunities have made it possible to insure 6,500 Iowa children.
Charles Bruner, director of the Child and Family Policy Center in Des Moines, said that the change is in large part due to entire families enrolling for coverage.
‘When parents have an opportunity for health coverage, they are more likely to get their children covered as well. Children who get health coverage receive primary and preventive health services they need.’
"We know that if parents are covered and have an opportunity for coverage, they're more likely to get their kids covered as well. We want to do better, but we have come a long way in terms of reducing the number of kids who don't have coverage," said Bruner.
The drop in the number of uninsured children was found to be six percent greater than the national average.
Iowa will soon enter a managed-care arrangement for both Medicaid and the Hawk-I program for children that will require continued public education about available options. Iowa's private managed care system will go into effect on January 1, 2016.
"I think the greatest challenge going forward is going to be continued awareness, and then assurance, that once kids do get coverage, they receive the primary and preventive health services they need. We've got to assure that going into managed care there's still an emphasis upon getting kids into a primary-care physician and a regular medical home," said Burner.