A survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) showcased experiences of four states – Massachusetts, Alabama, Iowa, and Oregon – at the forefront of the nation’s recent gains in children’s health coverage. The report’s findings were presented at a briefing held today in Washington.
The study reported that Massachusetts is the leading state for covering children in health insurance. Citing state figures, the report highlighted the 99.5% coverage rate for children in the Commonwealth. The report concluded that state officials and community partners showed a “deep and sustained commitment to children’s coverage.” The report credited the role played by community organizations, and a strong, broad stakeholder partnership joining community groups, advocates, providers and state officials.
The briefing featured a presentation by HCFA’s Children’s Health Policy and Outreach Manager, Dayanne Leal. Leal discussed the recipe for Massachusetts’ success. “Our success came from Massachusetts’ choice to invest in kids, a real commitment to doing the work, and creativity to make it happen,” she said.
The report was prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation in conjunction with the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. A video of the presentations is also available at the Kaiser Foundation website.
At the briefing staff from both institutions presented the main findings and then a panel of experts panelists discuss the survey findings and implications. Panelists included Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); John Supra, Chief Information Officer for the South Carolina Department of Human Services; Dayanne Leal, Children’s Health Policy and Outreach Manager, Health Care for All Massachusetts; Tricia Brooks, a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families; and Samantha Artiga, an Associate Director at the KCMU. who gave their perspectives. The panel was moderated by Diane Rowland, Executive Vice President, Kaiser Family Foundation.
Federal Medicaid administrator Cindy Mann recognized the work Massachusetts is doing to enroll children and keep them enrolled. “Massachusetts is the clear national leader in covering children,” she said. Leal thanked Mann for approving Massachusetts Express Lane Eligibility waiver to include renewals for parents, which will be crucial as Massachusetts move to the next phase which is improving its coverage retention.