For children to have the healthiest start possible, they need to be insured as early as possible. By age 3, children should have 12 well-child visits according to the schedule set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
These regular, preventive visits to the doctor or pediatrician are important to track a child’s growth and development, to provide immunizations and to identify and address delays or concerns.
Yet, the data shows that the percentage of uninsured babies and toddlers in Pennsylvania has increased over the past few years and is much higher than the national average.
This means our youngest children are not receiving important health care in those early years when their brains are growing most rapidly, putting their healthy development at risk.
- Educate families about free or low-cost, affordable options for health insurance through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the state-based marketplace Pennie.
- Encourage policymakers to expand CHIP for pregnant women and children, regardless of immigration status by:
- Passing Dream Care legislation to include children not currently eligible for health insurance due to their immigration status because every child living in Pennsylvania deserves a healthy start for success in school and life.
- Seeking federal approval to expand CHIP to include pregnant women and birthing individuals currently not eligible for Medicaid due to their immigration status because access to vital prenatal and post-partum care increases the likelihood of healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.