Obtaining health insurance is just one step toward improving health outcomes for children.
Ensuring that all children, no matter where they live or what type of health insurance they have, are able to see a quality, culturally-competent health provider (including dental) for preventive care and developmental screenings is also critical. In addition, children must be able to maintain access to health care throughout their formative years—without gaps in coverage—to have the greatest impact on their health outcomes as adults.
Passage of the Affordable Care Act and Minnesota’s expansion of Medicaid have removed some barriers to accessing care and maintaining coverage, such as allowing 12-month recertification for Medical Assistance and passive renewal options, as well as implementing essential health benefits for all types of insurance so patients can access a broad spectrum of services. However, there is still much to be done.
We support simplifying and aligning re-enrollment processes for Medical Assistance and other health insurance options (public or private) so that children aren’t inadvertently dropped from coverage and can move seamlessly from one health care program to another as family circumstances change. We also support efforts to track and assess children’s access to immunizations, well-child visits and developmental screenings and examining scope-of-practice issues to ensure appropriate, culturally-competent care is available in all parts of the state. Lastly, we support improving dental access for children covered under public programs.