A Georgetown University Center for Children and Families reportreleased on November 20, 2013 reveals that the nation as a whole is getting children covered, while Arizona has been proceeding in the opposite direction. According to the report, Arizona ranks second in the nation in the number of children who lost coverage between 2010 and 2012. During the same period, forty states saw improvements in children’s coverage due to the success of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Arizona, meanwhile, is the only state to abandon its CHIP program. The state froze enrollment in KidsCare four years ago. Participation fell to less than 6,500 by November 2013. Temporary coverage for kids was created with a combination of hospital funding and federal funds. But KidsCare II is set to expire at the end of this year and enrollment in regular KidsCare will dwindle down to zero.
The federal Marketplace will offer options to many children, but without KidsCare, Arizona’s system will leave gaps for kids that families in other states never have to face.