April 9, 2020
By Kelly Vyzral, Senior Health Policy Associate
In 2019, Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio embarked on a campaign to mitigate the child uninsured rate in Ohio. As we move into the third month of an all-out battle against the coronavirus, many Ohioans do not have access to one of the most important tools to fight this pandemic…healthcare coverage making this campaign all the more important.
Unfortunately Ohio has one fastest rates of increase in child uninsured rates in the country amongst infants and toddlers between 2016 and 2018. According to the American Community Survey, Ohio’s child uninsurance rate in 2018 was 4.8%, a full percentage point over the 2016 rate of 3.8%. As we began to dive deeper into the figures we started to see a startling trend for families in Ohio, the rapidly increasing rate of uninsured infants and toddlers. As reported recently by the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, this would be disturbing under any circumstances, but it is particularly so during a public health crisis. It is vital that infants and toddlers have access to quality health care during these early years. The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines recommend 12 well-child visits before age 3. Regular check-ups, immunizations, and developmental screenings are fundamental for a healthy child and all of these are covered for a child enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP. The concern right now during the COVID-19 pandemic is making sure our young children get the consistent care and vaccinations they need to be healthy and promote good public health across our state. Read more from GCCF.