BOISE — Today, Idaho Voices for Children announced a new advocacy initiative focused on ensuring that 100% of Idaho kids have access to health coverage. Known as Idaho Kids Covered, this effort taps the state’s top children’s health experts to push forward a number of public policy goals focused on ensuring kids reach their full potential.
Idaho Kids Covered is a statewide network led by a dynamic steering committee, including:
• Idaho Academy of Family Physicians
• Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities
• Idaho Primary Care Association
• Idaho Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
• Center for Community and Justice
• Juntos Creando Cambios Task Force
• Idaho Hospital Association
• Saint Alphonsus
Before the pandemic, Idaho had the highest increase in the rate of uninsured children in the entire country between 2017 and 2018; bringing the total number of uninsured children to 24,000 in 2019. We are committed to pursuing data-driven policy solutions to reverse this trend. Research shows that when children are covered, they’re more likely to succeed in school and have better health and economic outcomes as adults, opportunities that every child in Idaho deserves.
This spring, Idaho Kids Covered is launching to make sure no child in Idaho misses doctors’ appointments, or gets anything less than the health care they need because of their insurance status. “Uninterrupted health coverage and quality care create a foundation for children to grow and thrive.” explained Hillarie Hagen, an Idaho Kids Covered founder and Health Policy Associate with Idaho Voices for Children. “Through rigorous data collection and research, engaging doctors and families, and public education, Idaho Kids Covered seeks to promote policies that secure health coverage for every Idaho child, connect families to care, and ensure continuous coverage for all children”.
Executive director of the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities Christine Pisani explains, “Idahoans are the experts in what they, and their families, need and where gaps exist. Idaho Kids Covered provides an opportunity to engage with policymakers, share their experience, and advance smart solutions to ensure Idaho doesn’t miss opportunities to help all children succeed in life.”
Kyle Rooks, the Policy and Communications Director of the Idaho Primary Care Association added, “Community health centers are hard at work to make sure every family has access to the resources they need to support their children’s health. While Idaho’s community health centers served over 43,000 children over the last year, we also found that 7,000 of those children did not have adequate health coverage. We know there is more work to be done, that’s why we are excited to partner with Idaho Kids Covered to ensure all Idaho children get the health coverage and access to care they need to get and stay healthy.”
To learn more about Idaho Kids Covered, and the health coverage challenges facing Idaho’s children, join us for our virtual launch June 15 at noon MT. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more updates as we begin our work to ensure that every kid in Idaho is covered.
About Idaho Voices for Children
Idaho Voices for Children works to develop and promote a statewide public policy agenda that advocates for children on issues of health, education, safety, well-being and family economic security. Learn more at idahovoices.org.