New Mexico’s children and youth face overwhelming obstacles to growing up healthy. New Mexico has the highest rate of child poverty in the country, with 29% of kids living below the federal poverty level. Medicaid serves as a cornerstone of healthcare delivery for New Mexico’s children, providing coverage to nearly two-thirds of kids in our state.
As Medicaid enrollment has steadily increased, the Center is exploring opportunities for expanding healthcare services for children, especially during early developmental years. We are also investigating how well the state is providing certain federally-required Medicaid services, such as Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) services. The Center has been collaborating with other local advocates to research and take action on these issues.
The Center also promotes health services for children and youth by supporting efforts to increase funding for School Based Health Centers (SBHCs) which provide important physical and behavioral health services to students. An estimated 40% of kids using SBHCs have no other source of healthcare.
In addition to advocating for improved Medicaid services for children on a state level, the Center supports efforts to protect the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) on a federal level.