Top 10 Ways Medicaid Helps Children and Families

Medicaid covers more than 45 million children in more ways than one. The program provides comprehensive care– including school-based services like speech and physical therapy, counseling, and transportation – to help ensure they have healthy futures. Here are the top ten facts you should know about how Medicaid serves children and their families. A PDF version can be downloaded here.

  1. 45 million children currently receive health coverage through Medicaid or CHIP.[1]
  2. Thanks to Medicaid and CHIP, just 4.8 percent of American children are uninsured – down from 67.9 percent in 1997.[2]
  3. Children make up 43 percent of the total US Medicaid population.[3]
  4. Medicaid and CHIP play a critical role in providing health coverage to young children, covering 45 percent of children under the age of six and 36 percent of children between the ages of six and 18.[4]
  5. Medicaid and CHIP provide coverage for most young children with family incomes near the Federal Poverty Level (FPL):
    • Medicaid and CHIP cover 81 percent of children under 6 from families making less than $27,821 annually
    • Medicaid and CHIP cover 74% of children living under 6 from families making less than $40,320 annually [5]
  6. Children who have access to Medicaid coverage are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to graduate from college. [6]
  7. Medicaid provides health care to children who need it most, covering 44 percent of children with special health care needs[7]
  8. Medicaid provides coverage for working families. 64.5 percent of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP live in a family with at least one full-time worker.[8]
  9. Medicaid and CHIP support approximately 50 percent of all births in the United States.[9]
  10. Medicaid spent about $4 billion on school-based health care services in 2015, including assessments, speech and physical therapy, counseling, medical services, and special transportation.[10]