Study: 60,000 Children Qualify For Health Insurance, But Are Not Enrolled

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

There is new information on the number of children in Kentucky that don't have health insurance.

Research from the Kentucky Voices for Health shows more than 60,000 children qualify for health insurance programs, but are not enrolled.

It’s family practitioners like Dr. Dirk Curry of Pikeville Medical Family Practice that understand the frustrations of applying for child health programs.

“It does make it difficult for families, and they say ‘why bother?’,” says Dr. Curry.

A study by the Kentucky Voices for Health shows out of 93,000 children in Kentucky that don't have health insurance, two thirds of them qualify for Medicaid and the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program.

“When these kids don't have health coverage, nothing else matters. They can't go to school and learn and focus on their learning environment if they're not healthy,” says Dr. Curry.

Patrick Jefferys, the Project Director for Kentucky Voices for Health, says it's the application process that makes getting coverage difficult. Kentucky is one of four states that requires a face-to-face interview, and he says that's hard on parents.

“So they spend a lot of time working as much as they can so they can pay their other bills, and so they don't really have time to take off time to take off work to go sign their kid up for KCHIP or Medicaid and other programs,” says Jefferys.

“Why make it hard for somebody to achieve getting health care? By difficult application processes, having to go to certain areas to have that process achieved,” says Dr. Curry.

“Really, we're just trying to build our coalition to a group of people that really help, care about helping more families, especially kids get health coverage,” says Jefferys.

That’s something he and others in the medical field say is a top priority.

Jefferys says the number of uninsured children in Kentucky could easily drop if the state used mail-in and online applications.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by anonymous Location: Pike on Aug 20, 2008 at 06:46 PM
    Right on Wally, I agree with you all the way!
  • by Goebel Location: Lexington on Aug 20, 2008 at 06:19 AM
    They are probably waiting in line behind all the illegals.
  • by Anonymous Location: Pike on Aug 19, 2008 at 02:28 PM
    For those who don't receive K-CHIP or medicaid for children only, you only have to come in to apply one time. Once the case is approved, the only thing you have to do is complete a mail in form once a year. As long as you do this, you never have to come back in the office again. I don't think that is too much. As for the comment about the 9 to 5 mindset, we all have children and families we want to get home too, especially if they're little ones in school.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 19, 2008 at 02:14 PM
    I am sorry, but I find it hard to believe that people couldn't find enough time to go apply for their kid a medical card. If I could get my child a card I think I could find time to go in whether it be before work, during lunch, or even after I got off. Let them raise the limit and you'll see me standing there when doors open!!
  • by Rachel on Aug 19, 2008 at 12:56 PM
    It doesn't take that long to apply for medicaid or kchip. Sure, you have to go to the office, but look at how much you would save from medical bills. The offices are open early and sometimes the caseworkers will stay late. No excuse for not having insurance for your children.
  • by Wally Location: Pikeville on Aug 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM
    hello, our Medicaid system is already 700 million in the hole how do you think adding 60,000 more to the roles is going to be. Out of sight out of mind.
  • by Anonymous Location: Floyd County on Aug 19, 2008 at 09:22 AM
    Our local Medicaid office is open from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. Cases that don't include parents can be recerted once a year by mail. If you read your recert letter and return it with all the verification requested you don't have to go back into the office. Surely one parent can take the time to make an application. I pay $600.00 a month for my children's insurance- I would gladly miss a few hours of work to get Medicaid.
  • by Jack Location: Pineville on Aug 19, 2008 at 07:49 AM
    Every child under age 18 should have free dental, medical and vision.
  • by Jack Location: Pike County on Aug 19, 2008 at 06:21 AM
    So true, in my opinion this is a lot of the cause for our lack of development in our area. We have a 9 to 5 mindset and environment and anything beyond 5 consists of fast-food or wallyworld.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 19, 2008 at 06:11 AM
    Most state office's have extended hours why not try this......
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