Number of Uninsured Maine Children Has Dropped ‘Dramatically’ Since 1997
Maine's number of uninsured children dropped "dramatically" from 16% in 1995 to 10.4% in 1998 and 5.9% in 1999, Gov. Angus King (I) announced on Oct. 31. In the last year alone, 12,000 children became insured. King credited the state's $8 million CHIP, known as Cub Care, and an "aggressive outreach" campaign by the state Department of Human Services for the "improvement." King said, "Maine has conducted one of the most effective outreach programs in the nation to identify and enroll uninsured children in Cub Care and Medicaid." The state also has shortened its application to a single page and allows people to mail applications rather than completing them in person at a state office. But the governor pointed out that the state still has 18,000 uninsured children, of whom state officials estimate 11,000 are eligible for Cub Care. King said of the number, "We want to get as close to zero as we can" (Meara, Bangor Daily News, 11/1). Maine now has the fourth-lowest percentage of uninsured children in the nation. The state also has a low overall rate of uninsured individuals (Adams, AP/Foster's Daily Democrat, 11/1). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.9% of Maine residents were uninsured in 1997, compared to 12.6% in 1998 and 11.9% in 1999 (Bangor Daily News, 11/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.