West Virginia is not ranked last in all good categories and first in all bad ones. In a report released October 27, 2015, by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families, West Virginia is recognized as a leader in providing healthcare coverage for children.
In reality, West Virginia ranks among the top states for providing healthcare insurance for children.
Ninety-seven percent of the state’s 386,718 children are covered by private insurance, West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program (WVCHIP) or Medicaid, according to the report.
“Our state’s future lies in the hands of our most precious and vulnerable resource, our children,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling. “I am incredibly proud that one of the legacies of this administration is assuring nearly every child in West Virginia has the medical care he or she needs to grow up to be happy, healthy and successful with DHHR’s WVCHIP and Medicaid programs.”
The top five states with the lowest rate of uninsured children are Massachusetts (1.5 percent), the District of Columbia (2.1 percent), Vermont (2.2 percent), West Virginia (3.0 percent) and Hawaii (3.1 percent).
West Virginia is also ranked amongst the top five states with the sharpest declines in the rate of uninsured children, reducing the number of uninsured children by 43.7 percent from 2013 to 2014.
“While West Virginia faces many health challenges, we can feel very good that we have this foundation on which to build a healthy future for our children,” said WVCHIP Director Sharon Carte. “This is a great day for West Virginia.”