A new research report from Georgetown University indicates Oklahoma could erase gains made in Native American Health Care. The report shows Oklahoma has reduced the number of Native Americans without health insurance.
Researcher Joan Alker says that is because many adult Indians are getting coverage through the Affordable Care Act. But, she says if Medicaid funding is cut, at the state level, that number could go up dramatically in the next five to ten years.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Children in Native families are much more likely to rely on Medicaid than all children. Nationally 54% of Native children receive their health services through Medicaid as compared to 39% of all children.
- Nationally the uninsured rate for Native children declined from 25% to 15% between 2008 to 2015. All of the states with very high proportions of their Native children on Medicaid saw very large double-digit declines. The two states with the largest declines in their uninsured rate for kids were New Mexico (38% to 11%) and Alaska (32% to 17%).
- Nationally the uninsured rate for Native adults declined from 36% to 28%. States that expanded Medicaid to adults under the Affordable Care Act saw the largest declines.
- States for whom Medicaid is the most important for Native children (in order of importance) are Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma.