Rhode Island Kids Count found kids enrolled in the health insurance program for low-income children and families have better access to preventative health care. The new study on RIte Care comes on the program’s 20th anniversary.
But that’s just one measure Kids Count looked at to determine how well RIte Care works. RIte Care is the state’s Medicaid program for children, pregnant women, and some family members. It’s managed care, similar to a health plan with a preferred network of doctors. And Rhode Island Kids Count deputy director Jill Beckwith said smoking rates among pregnant women in the program have dropped by nearly half.
“If that was not something that health care plans were prioritizing to invest in in terms of providing information and referral for smoking cessation, for example," said Beckwith, "those rates would probably not be so low.”
Beckwith said RIte Care serves about a third of children with health insurance in Rhode Island. But about 12,000 children are still uninsured.