Poverty

UT

Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will cause 273,000 Utahns to lose their health insurance by 2019, new Urban Institute estimates show. Congress plans to move quickly in January to repeal much of the health reform law without enacting a replacement plan first. This would cause families in Utah to go without needed health care and expose them to financial risk. Nationally, most of the coverage loss would occur among families with at least one worker, doubling the number of uninsured and leaving a higher share of people uninsured than before the ACA.

Leaders in Congress are contemplating an unusual and risky maneuver to repeal the ACA without simultaneously passing a replacement plan. The repeal part would be easy because Congress would take advantage of special rules that apply to budget reconciliation bills. Congress could indefinately delay the far more difficult task of replacing the ACA with a new plan. 

 

Urban Social Media Shareable 2 If Congress succeeds in repealing the ACA without a replacement plan attached, they will throw the health care system into chaos. Nationwide, 4.3 million people would lose insurance right away, rising to 7.3 million by 2019.

urban institute ACA repeal

The consequences of repealing the ACA without replacing it would be dire for Utah families.

The number of uninsured Utahns would nearly double, rising from 328,000 uninsured Utahns to about 601,000.

The uninsured rate among children would more than double. Almost 38,000 Utah children currently have coverage in the ACA health insurance marketplace. These children are at risk of becoming uninsured if the ACA is repealed. After implementation of the ACA, Utah and the nation as a whole saw significant improvements in child health insurance coverage rates. Repealing the ACA without replacing it would not only eliminate these gains, but result in an even higher uninsured rate for children nationwide than existed before the ACA came into effect. 

Uninsured kids chart

Utah would lose $4.8 billion in federal funding and pay more in uncompensated care costs. State and local governments and health care providers would have to bear this cost.

Urban Social Media Shareable 1 Moderate-income working families in Utah would lose substantial financial assistance that is now available to help them pay  for their insurance premiums. The vast majority—87%—of Utahns in the ACA marketplace receive subsidies. In 2016, Utahns who enrolled in marketplace coverage receive an average advance premium tax credit of $187, which covers 69% of the total monthly premium for comprehensive coverage. 

Become Involved

Contact Senator Hatch protect our care UTAH

Tell Senator Hatch to protect our healthcare for children and families. Tell him not to repeal the ACA without a replacement bill in place to keep children and families covered by health insurance. Call Senator Hatch at (202)224-5251 or email Senator Hatch using this form.

Share Your Story

Does your family benefit from the ACA, Medicaid or CHIP health coverage? We want to talk to you. Your story could make a difference as we explain to lawmakers how repealing the ACA without replacing it could affect their constituents. Contact us.

More Information

Let’s Keep Moving Forward: The ACA’s Impact on Children’s Health Coverage

New Study Shows How ACA Repeal Would Impact Utah

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Fact Sheet: How Repeal of the ACA Would Affect Utahns

There Are 20,000 Fewer Uninsured Kids in Utah, Thanks to the Affordable Care Act


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

Published in News & Blog

Your story makes a difference.

The new administration and Congress are considering proposals that could harm Utahns enrolled in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid or CHIP. Are you a parent who is enrolled in one of these vital programs? Is your child enrolled? Voices for Utah Children is currently talking with Utah families with children that benefit from these programs, so that we can better communicate your needs to lawmakers. Lawmakers need to know how cuts to these programs would affect their constituents.

No long-term commitment is necessary. A member of the Voices for Utah Children team will ask you about how these health programs have helped your family and how your family would be affected if you lost your health coverage. If you give us permission, we will share your story on our website, through social media, and with lawmakers directly. Your story could be vital to saving these important programs.

You can contact Jessie Mandle, our health policy analyst, by email at  or by phone at 801-364-1182. 

You can also submit your story online here.

Are you a healthcare provider with patients that benefit from the ACA, Medicaid and CHIP?  Share your story here.


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

Published in News & Blog

continuous eligibility umbrella infographic

Utah FAQ’s

What is 12-month continuous eligibility for children on Medicaid?

Continuous eligibility is a state option that allows children, up through age 18, to maintain Medicaid coverage throughout the year, even if families experience a change in income or family status. By implementing continuous eligibility policies, a state ensures that for 365 days a year children get—and keep—health coverage.

What is churn?

“Churning” is when children are disenrolled in a public health insurance program and then re-enrolled after only a brief time without public insurance (2-6 months). “Churn” is the on-and-off-and-on pattern of enrollment that may be unrelated to actual eligibility status.

How does 12-month continuous eligibility affect families and children?

When children are enrolled in a program for 12 continuous months, they are less likely to lose their insurance coverage and more likely to experience continuity of care. In many cases, families must dis-enroll from Medicaid after securing unexpected temporary or seasonal work. When the short-term job ends, they must re-enroll in benefits. This creates an unnecessary burden for families. Parents are penalized for trying to improve their family’s economic circumstances through temporary or seasonal work.

How does 12-month continuous eligibility improve children’s health?

Children who have health insurance continuously throughout the year are more likely to have better health. Guaranteeing ongoing coverage ensures that children can receive appropriate preventive care, stay up to date on well-child visits and immunizations, fill their monthly prescriptions, and receive timely treatment for any health issues that arise. Stable coverage also enables providers to establish relationships with children and their parents and to track their health and development.

In contrast, when children experience gaps in health insurance coverage, they are less likely to have access to medical care. Interruptions in coverage can mean that children skip or delay a doctor’s visit or a prescriptions refill. People experiencing gaps in Medicaid coverage often experience serious health problems, while continuous Medicaid coverage is related to better health.

How will continuous eligibility help children with special health care needs?

According to Department of Health analysis, Medicaid children who are blind or disabled have one of the lowest average lengths of Medicaid eligiblity, compared to other eligibility categories. This suggests that children who are blind or disabled may be experiencing disruptions in care or coverage. A policy of 12-month continuous would allow all children, including those who are blind of disabled, to have continous health coverage.

How will continuous eligibility improve health plan accountability and value?

Continuous eligibility allows health plans to more accurately measure the quality of children’s health services and initiate program improvement strategies. Continuous eligibility improves health plan accountability. Health plans use a set of tools, called HEDIS measures (the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set), to assess their performance on health care and service. HEDIS measures require a one-year standard of continuous enrollment data. Children experiencing churn are not captured; HEDIS does not reflect the full make-up of children receiving care. Continuous eligibility leads to more comprehensive program improvement targets and better health care value for enrollees.

Why should Utah implement 12-month continuous eligibility now?

Despite declines in overall uninsured rates, Utah still has one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the nation. Continuous eligibility is a recognized best practice for states to lower their uninsured rate, improve program accountability and value, and assure vulnerable children get the best care.

Continuous eligibility helps retain children with low enrollment rates, including Hispanic children. Hispanic children are more likely to experience churn because of a change in their family’s temporary income status. At least 31% of Hispanic children have parents who lack year-round employment, compared to 18% of White children. Utah has the highest rate of uninsured Hispanic children in the nation. Programs that help children maintain continuous coverage, once they are enrolled, will reduce ethnic health disparities.

Health care leaders and officials urge states to adopt continuous eligibility as one of the top strategies to retain children in insurance programs and strengthen continuity of care.

12-month continuous eligibility is a critical way to make sure that Utah children have health insurance the entire year. All children should have access to health care without gaps or disruptions in coverage.

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pdfSupport 12-Month Continuous Eligibility for Utah Kids with Medicaid

Photo Credit: © Talanis | Dreamstime.com - Family Under The Rain Photo


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

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A new study from the Urban Institute shows the alarming impact of a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on children and families. As we recently reported, Utah’s uninsured rates dropped in recent years, due to the provisions of the ACA. But if Congress moves forward with a partial repeal of the ACA in 2017, millions of children and families stand to lose coverage nationwide, and here in Utah.

The report from the Urban Institute looks at the partial repeal bill that Congress passed and President Obama vetoed in 2016. The report found:

  • The number of uninsured children would more than double nationwide. More than 4 million could lose coverage. Nationally, the child uninsured rate would jump from an all time low of 4% to 9%.
  • Here in Utah, 273,000 Utahns could lose health insurance leaving an estimated 601,000 adults and children uninsured under the reconciliation bill.
  • Utah stands to lose billions of dollars in state and federal heath care dollars, which will have a dramatic impact on the our state budget and the strength of our safety net.
  • Uncompensated care will increase pressures on state and local governments, as providers seek to meet the growing number of uninsured.

Repealing the ACA without a replacement strategy is not a plan; it’s a risky step that threatens the health and well-being of children and families. Endangering their health without a clear and sound path forward is unsafe and unwise.

For more information, read the complete report:

Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

Published in News & Blog

Donate to
Voices for Utah Children
If you were given three wishes for the children in your life, what would they be?

  • A healthy life.
  • A good education.
  • To never want for the necessities.
  • The chance to experience a family of their own.

Shouldn’t we want that for all children in Utah? Today, there are over 950,000 children living in Utah. Unfortunately, over 120,000 of those children live in poverty, over 85,000 are not insured which threatens their well-being, and too many go to bed hungry (yes, even in Utah). But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can help ensure that all of Utah’s children experience the healthy and joyous childhood that you wish for your children. You are the difference between a sick child and one that is looking forward to a successful future.

Children rely on decisions adults make. They rely on their parents or guardians to meet their needs and invest in their future. They also rely on policymakers to make sure they have access to health care, a safe environment, and a quality education. And they rely on you to help make their voices heard. For over 30 years, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state’s leaders to put children’s needs first. With your help, Voices for Utah Children can continue to guide local, state, and federal policies that will allow all children to live out the same story we want for our own children.

If you believe in changing our kids' future, we're your voice in Utah’s capitol. We help decision-makers understand the children's issues that matter to you, take your message to policymakers, focus media on the issues you care about, and give politicians a reason to push for solutions you can take pride in.

We depend on citizens like you – folks who care about kids and who understand the importance of having a strong, independent voice for children. We ask you to support us in our daily fight to make Utah the best place in America to grow up. Your continued support is essential for us to persistently work towards improving the lives of children in Utah. Because of Voices for Utah Children’s commitment to independence, we do not take government funds for our work.

You can change the future of the child who comes to school not ready to learn. Instead, you can make sure that child is able to attend quality preschool or all-day kindergarten. That child can start kindergarten and first grade ready to succeed, because you choose to help us speak out on behalf of quality preschool and kindergarten for at-risk kids.

You provide us the opportunity to speak out for policies that improve Medicaid and CHIP services for children. Kids need health care coverage 365 days a year and being able to see a doctor shouldn’t depend on the job a parent has or the decision an employer makes about the affordability of healthcare. And because we can speak out, you change the life of a child who now has continuous care for her diabetes or asthma.

Children continually compete for funding with transportation, economic development, and business interests when our elected officials decide where our state money should be spent. Voices for Utah Children will be an ever-present voice at the Legislature to ensure that children’s needs are not forgotten. Your support means you stand right there with us. You can make sure that lawmakers continue to ask themselves critical questions when it comes to allocating our dollars and cents. Because, if it isn’t good for kids, it isn’t good for Utah.
Too often, children are an afterthought in the political process, but you can join a team that's making children a priority. Your contributions have helped Voices for Utah Children deliver real wins for kids.

  • We removed the 5-year waiting period for legally residing immigrant children to receive important services like Medicaid and CHIP.
  • We helped at-risk children receive increased funding for quality preschool so they can start school ready to learn.
  • We worked to make sure that juveniles would never be incarcerated without the possibility of parole.
  • We participated in collaborative efforts to find solutions to intergenerational poverty, making sure a child’s zip code doesn’t determine her destiny.

In all kinds of ways, your support changes the story for so many of the at-risk kids living in Utah. Every child’s story deserves a happy ending. Will you help write that story? You can change lives by supporting Voices for Utah Children–together we can write a joyful ending for all our kids!

 Click here to donate

Sincerely,

Lincoln Nehring
President and CEO

P.S. Your contribution today will allow Voices for Utah Children to begin the new year ready to create healthy and happy childhoods for Utah’s kids. Kids need heros, Utah’s kids are counting on you!

P.P.S Are monthly donations easier for you? We would be happy to help you set this up. What could be better than making a difference every month! Call us at 801-364-1182 or sign up at our website.

giving tuesday wish

Photo Credits:

Josh Applegate | Unsplash

© Sasin Tipchai | Dreamstime.com


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

 

Published in News & Blog
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com utah congressional district map utah govThe Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary source of federal funding to help increase the health, safety, and quality of child care and make child care assistance a more stable support for families. Quality child care enables parents to work or go to school while providing their children with safe and enriching environments where they can learn and thrive. Because of the CCDBG, thousands of hardworking Utah families have access to high-quality child care for their kids.

Congress is currently considering an Appropriations Bill that would increase funding for the CCDBG. We do not know as of today whether Congress will complete a bill this session, but what we do know is that we need an increase of $1.2 billion in CCDBG funds in order to ensure that no additional children lose child care assistance. We also know that Congress is working right now to decide on how to proceed with the Appropriations Bill.

It is absolutely critical to keep the importance of increasing funding for child care before the Congress as we move forward, and to do that we need your help. So today we are asking you to please contact your representative in Congress to ask that the 2017 Appropriations Bill include a $1.2 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.

Find Your Representative

Photo Credit: Anissa Thompson


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

 

Published in News & Blog
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New local data for each county in Utah are now available at the Voices for Utah Children website. Each county-level profile includes child demographics and measures of child-wellbeing related to education, health and economics.

Here are just some of the questions you can answer with the new data:

  • What is the average student/teacher ratio at local schools?
  • What percent of kids are chronically absent from local schools?
  • How many children were victims of abuse in my county?
  • What is the children’s health insurance rate in my county?
  • How many local kids are living in poverty?

Check it out here: 
Kids Count County Data Sheets

Photo Credit: Scott Webb


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

 

Published in News & Blog

This new 3-minute video, featuring Lincoln Nehring, President and CEO of Voices for Utah Children and policy experts at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, describes the plight of Utah families in the healthcare coverage gap. In Utah, a single mom with two children must earn $756/month or less to qualify for Medicaid.  "That is painfully low," points out Nehring. In most other states, a parent can earn triple that amount and still qualify.

Joan Alker of Georgetown lists three reasons Utah should expand access to coverage:

  1. A healthier parent is a better parent.
  2. Children are more likely to be insured if their parents are insured.
  3. The whole family must be insured to protect the family from medical debt and bankruptcy.

The good news? "States can expand Medicaid at any time—the sooner the better," says Nehring.

Utah Health Coverage Gap from Georgetown CCF on Vimeo.


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

 

Published in News & Blog

Recent Census data show that Utah has made some improvements when it comes to reducing child poverty, but Utah Hispanic or Latino children are still disproportionately experiencing poverty, compared to their White peers.

Looking at the overall poverty rates, Utah children fare better than the rest of the United State, the so-called “Utah advantage”. But the gap between White children and Hispanic children in Utah is alarming: 25% of Hispanic children live in poverty, compared to 9% of White children.

The poverty rate for Utah Hispanic children declined in 2015, while the rate for Utah White children remained relatively stagnant. The poverty rate for Utah children overall stayed at 13%. Although the decline in poverty rates for Hispanic children is encouraging, the gap between White children and Hispanic children is still too wide.

Utah’s 2015 child poverty data underscore the need for an equity review of our programs and policies: Why are some racial and ethnic groups making progress, while other groups stagnate? How do we close the economic divide between Hispanic and White children?
Going forward, politicians and decision-makers need to look at the impact our policies have on children of all racial and ethnic groups, so we can strengthen what’s working and re-evaluate what’s not.

For more information, see Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015.

A closer look at the numbers: Why only White and Hispanic children?
We are sharing child poverty data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. For child poverty rates in Utah, unless multiple years of data are aggregated, statistically-significant Census findings are only available for the following racial and ethnic categories: non-Hispanic White, Hispanic or Latino, and 2 or more races. Unfortunately we do not have data available for all groups of children in our state. As recent Utah Department of Health Office of Heath Disparities reports highlight, disparities affect all children of color in our state. We need more child-specific data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, so we can understand how policy decisions are affecting all groups of children in Utah.


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

 

Published in News & Blog

A new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) spends just $1.35 on average per person per meal for households with children, yet lifts millions of families and their children out of poverty. Here are some other key findings of the report:

  • SNAP kept about 10.3 million people out of poverty in 2012, including about 4.9 million children. 
  • SNAP helps families put food on the table. Food insecurity — limited access to enough food for an active, healthy life — among children falls by roughly a third after their families receive SNAP benefits for six months. 
  • Some evidence suggests that children receiving SNAP are less likely than low-income non-participants to be in fair or poor health or underweight, and their families are less likely to trade off paying for health care and paying for other basic needs, like food, housing, heating, and electricity.
  • Children who receive SNAP do better in school. SNAP participation can lead to improvements in reading and mathematics skills among elementary children, especially young girls, and increase the chances of graduating from high school.
  • Adults who had access to SNAP as young children reported better health and had lower rates of “metabolic syndrome” (a combined measure of the incidence of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes), and women who had access to food stamps as young children reported improved economic self-sufficiency (as measured by a combination of employment, income, poverty status, high school graduation, and program participation).

For more information, see the complete report:

SNAP Works for America’s Children 


For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express, our "Making a Difference All Year Long" sponsor. Amex

 

Published in News & Blog