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 health care access and coverage in Ohio.


Health care
for children is a good investment:

  • Children make up 40% of enrollees in Ohio’s Medicaid program, and yet account for just 14% of the cost.5
  • Medicaid expenditures for children in Ohio are 47th in the nation and 20% below the national average (CFC costs).

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

  • 1.25 million1 children rely on Medicaid for healthcare coverage. This is nearly half of Ohio’s 2.6 million children2
  • More than half of the patients in children’s hospitals rely on Medicaid for health care coverage – 53% of all patients who receive care in children’s hospitals have Medicaid for insurance.6
  • Medicaid covers all youth in foster care – many of whom are displaced due to the opioid epidemic.7
  • 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 type.4

Medicaid coverage is critical to child health &
in Ohio:

Access to essential healthcare services for all Ohio kids helps to ensure they grow up as healthy, productive adults. Adequate, stable, predictable funding for children covered by Ohio Medicaid is critical to the health of our children, our future workforce and long-term vitality of our state.

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.

Important facts about other types of health care
for Ohio’s children:

  • Adult Medicaid Expansion (to 138% of poverty) did not benefit Ohio children. Less than 1% of Ohio children receive coverage from Medicaid Expansion.8 Prior to adult Medicaid expansion, Ohio children were already eligible up to 206% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL), and children’s hospitals sought to aggressively enroll eligible children and families to ensure they had the coverage they needed.
  • While the rate has recently increased, Ohio’s uninsured rate for kids, at 4.5% or approximately 125,000 children, remains below the national average.
    A good portion of these children are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but are not currently enrolled.10
  • 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.9

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