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Nevada Making Major Progress When It Comes To Insuring Women

Nevada Is Reducing The Ranks Of Uninsured Women Ages 18 To 44

May 23, 2019 - 3:26 pm

CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) - Nevada's uninsured rate for women of childbearing age dropped 13 percentage points after Medicaid expansion, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

Nevada is making major progress reducing the ranks of the uninsured, with one of the sharpest drops in the nation, 13 percentage points, for women age 18 to 44. The research is from 2013 to 2017, according to a new report. The study co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families credits the state's expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Report co-author Joan Alker said the expansion of coverage for mothers has major benefits for their children.

"Things like maternal-depression screening and treatment, treatment for substance use disorders, smoking cessation, all of those are benefits that Medicaid can and does cover. So, those are likely to have really positive, two-generational impacts," said Alker.

The report also recommends that mothers have access to continuous coverage before birth and for 12 months afterward. Some states have moved to ensure that parents with a temporary bump in pay from a seasonal job don't lose Medicaid eligibility. Nevada hasn't done that yet, but the state Senate health committee just passed SB 198, which would ensure 12-month continuous coverage for children on Medicaid. 

Emma Rodriguez with the Children's Advocacy Alliance in Nevada said the improvement is significant but there's still work to do.

"Nevada's uninsured rate for women of childbearing age is still much higher than the national average. We went from 29 percent to 15.8 percent. However, the national average is 12.3 percent, so we still have a ways to go to improve," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said in the future she'd like to see Nevada start doing automatic renewals on Medicaid if publicly available income data showed the person remains eligible. Currently people are required to resubmit forms every year.