Report: 10 Percent of Montana Children Are Not Insured
The ‘Kids Count’ study also look in the status of children’s health in Montana. For the last two years Montana has ranked last when it comes to children's health, but moved up three spots this year.
Many health officials we have spoken with credit that improvement to the 'Healthy Montana Kids' program that expands free or low-cost medical coverage to children under the age of 19.
Health insurance access for children is another area where the state of Montana has seen improvement over the last several years. The study shows as of this year, 10% of Montana children do not have health insurance. That is a 4% improvement from 2008. The number of Native American children without health coverage however continued its climb to 28% this year.
Lander Cooney is the CEO of Community Health Partners in Gallatin County, she says that number is still high and there could be a number of contributing factors.
“A lot of people don't know what the income requirements are to qualify for Healthy Montana Kids, so I think that may be a barrier for people to apply, the income guidelines go up to 250% of the poverty level, so for a family of three that could be $50,000 of income,” said Cooney.
She believes that between the Healthy Montana Kids program and Medicaid expansion, these numbers will continue to improve.
To learn more about 'Healthy Montana Kids', click here.