by Chet Hardin
A Colorado health-care coalition, All Kids Covered, has some good news to report.
From the organization's press release:
Today, roughly 90 percent of all children in Colorado have health insurance coverage. According to a new report released by All Kids Covered, Crossing the Finish Line, over 41,000 Colorado kids gained health insurance coverage between 2008 and 2010. The report attributes some of the progress of the last five years to policy changes that expanded coverage and reduced red tape, a streamlining and modernization of program administration, and the work of community advocates getting kids enrolled.
“It is encouraging that even in a tough economy, we, as a state, have made the commitment to get our children the health coverage and health care services they need to have healthy and fulfilling lives,” said Cody Belzley, of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “In his State of the State speech, Governor Hickenlooper called on us to ‘do right by our kids,’ and this report shows that we are making significant progress toward that end.”
However — ’cause there's always a however — the report finds that there is still a lot of kids who aren't insured.
...more progress is needed, since state and national research surveys estimate that between 112,200 and 124,128 Colorado children remain uninsured. According to the All Kids Covered report, there are five key areas Colorado should focus on to close the gap:
1. Leadership and accountability that will continue the cross-sector, non-partisan work.
2. Coverage and access for all children through increased insurance options, provider availability, and opportunities to enroll.
3. Systems and practices that will maximize enrollment and retention, such as investments in the technical infrastructure and related processes to support the new Colorado Health Benefit Exchange.
4. Messaging and communications that are straightforward and consistent so that consumers can make smart choices about their coverage.
5. Regional adaptation of solutions for each of Colorado’s diverse communities, from urban centers to remote frontier areas.