R.I. KIDS COUNT: State tops national average for children’s health care coverage

PROVIDENCE – About 97.8% of Rhode Island’s kids age 18 and under have health insurance, putting the Ocean State at number three nationwide for children’s coverage, according to 2018 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Rhode Island outpaces the national average of 94.50% by more than 3 percentage points.

The ranking was a highlight at Monday’s annual Rhode Island KIDS COUNT luncheon, where health officials celebrated the state’s progress on children’s health issues.

The state is a national leader in other categories as well, ranking first for adolescent HPV vaccination and a low prevalence of teen deaths, fourth-lowest in child deaths and sixth-lowest for teen births, RI Kids Count says.

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RIte Care, the state’s Medicaid program for children under 19, families with children and pregnant women, continues to show success, according to the nonprofit.

The program, available through Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Tufts Health Plan and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, is one of three Medicaid plans to earn a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 in the United States in 2019.

Primary care visits for children covered by the program in 2018 totaled:

  • 94% of infants and toddlers
  • 89% of preschool and early elementary school-age children
  • 94% of preteens
  • 93% of teens