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Media Advisory: Maryland achieves huge decline in number of uninsured children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 28, 2015

Maryland Achieves Huge Decline In Number Of Uninsured Children

Baltimore, MD – The number of Maryland children without health insurance fell by about 28% over a one-year period after the Affordable Care Act went into effect, according to a new report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, and Advocates for Children and Youth.

The report examined American Community Survey data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. It estimated that the number of uninsured children in Maryland declined from about 59,000 in 2013 to about 43,000 in 2014. The report authors attribute the gains to strong programs like Medicaid and Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) and improvements to Maryland’s health coverage system brought about by embracing all the Affordable Care Act offered.

“This achievement reflects years of hard work by state leaders and stakeholders” said Matthew Celentano of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative. “These improvements to health care coverage for Maryland’s children will not only help families, it will help Maryland’s schools, health care system and economy.”

Joan Alker of the Georgetown University research center agreed with that assessment. “When children have health care coverage, they are able to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy and show up for school ready to learn,” said Alker. “It also means their families can afford to take their children to the doctor when they are sick so they don’t wind up getting sicker and having to rely on more expensive care in the hospital.”

The report also notes that improvements to children’s coverage have been shown to provide a strong return on government investment. Research shows that children with Medicaid coverage were less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to graduate from college. They also had better health and economic success as adults.

Matthew Celentano of MCHI added, “Our state did not achieve this success overnight, and we risk children being worse off without a firm resolve to uphold these gains and keep our state’s health care system strong.”

Many of the remaining uninsured children in Maryland are eligible for free or low-cost health coverage through Medicaid and MCHP. Families who would like to enroll their children should call 1(800) 642-8572 or visit www.marylandhealthconnection.gov.

The Health Care for All! Coalition is a broad-based coalition of over 1200 faith, labor, business and community groups that have been working to guarantee all Marylanders access to quality, affordable health care. To learn more, visit http://www.healthcareforall.com.

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