West Virginia now ranks among the top five states with the lowest numbers of uninsured children, and it is one of the top five states in reducing its uninsured rates among kids since 2013, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
A report released Wednesday by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families found that 97 percent of the state’s 386,718 children are covered by private insurance, West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program (WVCHIP) or Medicaid.
The state has reduced its number of uninsured children by 43.7 percent between 2013 and 2014 — roughly 11,000 children — and roughly 10,000 children in the state remain uninsured, said Jeremiah Samples, DHHR deputy secretary for Public Health and Insurance.
“I think that this is a success story that every West Virginian can be proud of,” Samples said. “A child having health insurance means that there aren’t the same barriers to that child seeing their primary care physician for a check-up or, if they’re showing the early signs of a chronic condition, there’s not the same inhibition from the parents — that fear that if they take the child to see a doctor, there’s going to be a cost, and they just don’t have the money.”
Learn more about efforts to improve health outcomes for West Virginia’s children and families
by visiting the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition.