Issues & Advocacy

Ohio’s Children and Medicaid Coverage:The Facts

Medicaid is the single most important public policy issue affecting the stability of children’s healthcare access and coverage in Ohio.


Health care
for children is a good investment:

Adequate, stable, predictable funding for children covered by Ohio Medicaid is critical to the health of our children, our future workforce and the long-term vitality of our state.

  • Children make up 38% of enrollees in Ohio’s Medicaid program, and yet account for just 18% of the cost.1
  • Medicaid expenditures for children in Ohio are 47th in the nation and 20% below the national average (CFC costs).

By enrolling eligible children in Medicaid early in childhood, Ohio can help them have healthier lives in youth and adulthood. Consider that children who are enrolled in Medicaid early in life3:

  • Do better in school: better reading test scores in the 4th and 8th grades, better attendance rates, and decreased high school dropout and increased college attendance and completion.
  • Grow up to be healthier as adults: lower rates of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease or heart attack, and obesity.
  • Grow up to be adults who earn higher wages and pay more in taxes.

Ohio children from every corner of the state rely on Medicaid for health coverage:

  • 1.34 million1 children rely on Medicaid for healthcare coverage. This is more than half of Ohio’s 2.6 million children2, 8
  • More than half of the patients in children’s hospitals rely on Medicaid for health care coverage – 54% of all patients who receive care in children’s hospitals have Medicaid for insurance.5
  • Medicaid covers all youth in foster care – many of whom are displaced due to
    the opioid epidemic.6
  • The Federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is critical to ensuring kids in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance receive coverage. In Ohio, the CHIP program is run in combination with the state’s Medicaid program,7 and 240,000 Ohio children rely on it for healthcare coverage.
  • Medicaid significantly impacts every area of Ohio – from the most rural areas to the most populated urban areas. The following is a breakdown of percentages of Ohio children enrolled in Medicaid by county type4.

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