Reducing a child's time in foster care
Almost a quarter of the children who enter the foster care system over a five-year period stayed in foster care for...

Introducing Wonky Word Wednesdays
Have you ever had an interest in learning about issues in public policy but found yourself lost in the technical jargon? We...

Mandatory retention policies could do more harm than good for Arkansas students
Mandatory retention policies without significant resourcing are often ineffective, financially draining, and damaging to student's emotional health. Since 2002, 15 states have implemented...

AACF welcomes Kerri Michael Sernel
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is very proud to announce that Kerri Michael Sernel will be joining the AACF staff as...

- View All

Follow Us RSS



You Tube

What's Happening What's New Sign Up for AACF Action Alerts Subscribe to Our Email Newsletters Join The Kids Count Coalition
HUGE NEWS - 25,000 kids with new health coverage
HUGE NEWS - 25,000 kids with new health coverage
Posted by Anna Strong on May 1st 2014

Since last fall, nearly 25,000 children now have health coverage through ARKids First, Medicaid, or private insurance – a dramatic increase. The bump in the number of children with insurance is a direct result of Arkansas’s bipartisan Private Option and enrollment in Marketplace plans through the Affordable Care Act. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) held a press conference this morning to talk about this great achievement.

New data from the Arkansas Department of Human Services show that since September 1, 2013: 

  • 22,228 children who were already eligible for ARKids First enrolled (to put that into perspective, in the previous eight months, 3,025 enrolled). 
  • Almost 2,500 children enrolled in discounted plans in the Marketplace along with their caregivers.
  • That makes for a total of 24,658 children with new, affordable access to checkups and treatment. 

“We know that when parents have coverage, kids get covered, too,” says Rich Huddleston, executive director of AACF. “The Private Option and the Affordable Care Act have gone a long way in insuring Arkansas children. We have a lot of people to thank for that including our legislative leaders, the governor, and everyone who has been involved in ARKids First since its beginning in 1997.”

Anna Strong, health policy director for AACF, says the number of uninsured children in Arkansas has dipped below six percent, down from 22 percent when ARKids First began. She says this dramatic reduction is no accident.

“Having such a low number of uninsured children is the product of a concerted, bipartisan, years-long effort to make sure kids are covered,” Strong says. “We should protect ARKids First as our health system continues to change. 25,000 kids with new coverage is great. But we still have work to do to reach the remaining uninsured children. Disparities exist with children in Northwest AR, Hispanic and Marshallese families, and older children.”

A new report released today by AACF called “Crossing Into New Territory: Kids’ Health Coverage in 2014,” provides a comprehensive look at children’s health in Arkansas and offers solutions to further reduce the number of uninsured children, including:


  • Protecting ARKids First and its streamlined enrollment process as health insurance changes are made.
  • Reinstating outreach funding in Arkansas so more families get enrolled.
  • Covering lawfully present children who are barred from coverage today.




For more information, you can read the full report here.

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments

Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families
Union Station - 1400 West Markham Suite 306 - Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 371-9678 - Fax: (501) 371-9681 - Email: