By Molly Messick
Cheyenne, Wy –
Department of Health KidCare manager Patty Guzman says her office can see the bad economy hitting Wyoming families. The number of kids receiving coverage under Wyoming's Children's Health Insurance Program has dropped - but that's because families are earning too little to be eligible for care. She says more children are getting Medicaid coverage instead. Her office has been graphing the changes since April.
"For the first time we've actually seen numbers in SCHIP drop and those children falling into the Medicaid program. If you have a two-parent household you'll see it where you have one parent who's lost their job and the other one still working, but with that job loss it's brought their income down enough to where they end up qualifying for the Medicaid program."
Up to age five, children are eligible for Medicaid if their family earns 133 percent or less of the federal poverty level. From age 6 to 18, kids are eligible if they live at or below the poverty line.