14,000 children will lose health coverage today
Today, Arizona’s Kids Care II expires, ending health coverage for 14,000 children. Arizona is the only state in the US phasing out our Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides $3 in federal funds for every $1 spent by the state. Thanks to Obamacare, of the approximately 37,000 children on Kids Care II, 23,000 qualify for Medicaid and will be automatically transferred into Medicaid coverage. But 14,000 children will lose coverage.
It is a priority for the state and the community to do all we can to connect children with coverage through the new Marketplace. Families can get personal assistance from Navigator organizations that are certified to help with the Marketplace application process. To reach a Navigator, families can call 211, select the option to get help with the Affordable Care Act, and input their zip code. Consumers can also apply directly at www.healthcare.gov or call the federal healthcare hotline at 1-800-318-2596.
Unfortunately, the loss of KidsCare will still leave families suffering hardships. A glitch in the federal laws means that some families who really can’t afford coverage for their children through their employer will not qualify for a subsidy. And families who have children with special health care needs may see dramatic increases in their out-of-pocket costs for health care. This means there is more work ahead to strengthen children’s health care in our state.