Ensuring Healthy Children
New data is showing us that nearly 95 percent of children nationwide are covered by health insurance. The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) shared the news from the most recent American Community Survey (ACS), which uses U.S. Census Bureau data, and it shows that only 5 percent of children under the age of 19 were not insured in 2016.
Of the children who were covered by health insurance in 2016, 40 percent of them received public insurance through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or an individual state plan.
The ACS shares that “children under 19 were covered by health insurance at a higher rate than working-age adults in 2016,” attributing that higher rate of coverage to the fact children from low-income families are eligible for programs such as Medicaid and CHIP.
CHIP was created in 1997 to provide coverage to children from low and moderate-income families. It serves 9 million children nationwide. The Washington Post reports the program “was instrumental in lowering the percentage of children who were uninsured” from 14 percent to 5.
CHIP expired on September 30 and requires reauthorization by Congress to continue.
The Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) shared in a recent brief that 120,000 Michigan children receive benefits from CHIP through our state’s MIChild program, which is available through the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
- It provides health care to nearly 120,000 Michigan children
- It costs a family $10 a month for coverage
- Children must be under the age of 19 to qualify
- The program provides coverage for a wide range of medical services from preventative care to medicine, vision, surgery and more.
The Detroit News reports that CHIP funding also provides health insurance to those under 21 or any pregnant women and their children who drank lead-contaminated water in Flint.
MLPP states that Michigan will run out of federal funding for CHIP as early as April, if it is not reauthorized by Congress.
“We are monitoring the federal activity very closely,” Angela Minicuci, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services told The Detroit News. “Depending on what happens at the federal level, we will work to determine what steps we may need to take in the future.”
“It is imperative that Congress pass a clean CHIP authorization bill free from ACA repeal language, cuts to Medicaid or changes to health‐insurer taxes. Healthcare for 120,000 Michigan kids hangs in the balance,” MLPP shared.
Check out MLPP’s CHIP Fact Sheet.
Dive into the data from the ACS.
Service Provider Data Highlights Needs in MI
New data shows that there’s more need than may be revealed in government data, indicating that perhaps Michigan’s unemployment rates and food assistance numbers aren’t telling the whole story.
The Human Needs Index (HNI), researched and prepared by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy using data from The Salvation Army indicates that “the need in rural America may be underestimated and unmet.”
The HNI examines seven areas of assistance from meals to housing, provided by The Salvation Army.
The organization shares that, “Each month’s HNI value is a composite of thousands and thousands of services individually recorded, each given out to a person or place in need,” making it the “first multidimensional measure of human need based on objective data from a nonprofit on the front lines of providing social services.”
The HNI data is based on need and not income levels. This new information also complements the ALICE Report which CMF reported on earlier this year, that showed nearly 40 percent of Michiganders are working but still can’t afford the basics.
Michigan is listed among the top 10 states with high levels of HNI for three consecutive years.
Our state’s Human Needs Index rate is currently at 1.49 which provides a snapshot in time, but our overall average for 13 years of data is 2.99, higher than the national rate of 1.06. The data shows that since 2004 our state has been consistently higher than the national average except for 2008.
The Michigan data collected by The Salvation Army so far in 2017 includes:
- Michiganders have received more than 1 million services from the organization, more than any of the other Great Lakes states.
- Nearly 964,000 meals were provided to Michigan residents in need this year, compared to Indiana where residents have received about 243,000 meals.
- Nearly 11,000 received energy assistance, much higher than in Wisconsin where 448 residents have received energy assistance.
- About 1,577 received housing assistance with 1,000 receiving furniture, which is less than Ohio where 1,946 received housing assistance.
As for the analysis that rural communities may be facing more needs than known, the HNI makes the connection that Michigan and other predominantly rural states with higher populations have higher rates of needs. The HNI indicates that perhaps using an unemployment rate (ours is 3.9 percent) as a measure of the prosperity of residents of our state is not the most accurate depiction of what’s happening in our communities. The HNI provides additional insights from service provider data.
The HNI data provides a “new tool for policy makers, social services providers, and researchers to more quickly and accurately understand trends in need.” It’s also expected to help anticipate shifts in vulnerable communities.
Check out the Human Needs Index.
Learn more about work underway to elevate our Michigan communities at Strategies for Shared Prosperity in Rural America, a breakout session designed by CMF’s Rural Philanthropy Affinity Group, happening at Our Common Future conference later this month.
Inclusive Communities for All Ages
Our senior citizen population is expected to grow by 105 percent between now and 2060. As CMF recently reported, it’s projected that as early as 2033 seniors will outnumber youth for the first time in U.S. history.
Michigan Radio reports that by 2030, seniors will make up between a quarter to a third of Michigan’s population.
As AARP Michigan shares, our state’s population is aging faster than the national average. How can we prepare our communities for the future and address the needs of this growing population?
Next week, AARP Michigan is hosting a community forum in East Lansing to get input on how to address the needs of this growing population. The community will provide feedback to help inform and guide the city in drafting a plan that addresses accessible transportation, housing and walkable streets.
This process was born when East Lansing joined AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities in May. The designation “means a city has committed to improving factors such as transportation, public spaces, health services and social inclusion for people of all ages.”
Auburn Hills is another city working with AARP Michigan, the community was highlighted as one of 16 case studies in the U.S. and around the globe for its inclusive work in AARP’s international report.
What they’re doing in Auburn Hills:
- They created the City of Auburn Hills Community Center which offers services and programs for seniors, with nearly 14,000 individuals over the age of 50 attending the center every year.
- The local Meals on Wheels program operates within the center and provides meals on site for seniors to gather and be social a few times a week.
- The center offers a health and fitness program including yoga, golf and other activities.
- The center hosts a variety of programming including storytelling, lectures, parties, photography and computer classes.
- Volunteers also provide free legal advice and estate planning help for seniors at the center.
- The center provides services for those who may not have access to transportation, offering home repair, yard work and snow removal along with a travel program where the senior can receive transportation.
“Providing inclusive and livable communities for Michigan’s aging population will be an important issue for Michigan’s future,” Lynn Alexander, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, former director of the Office of Services to the Aging and CMF member said.
“As the Baby Boomers are now joining the ranks of seniors we need to adjust to their changing needs. They are educated consumers with new types of demands such as having more choice in services, technology and inclusivity. Communities which promote citizen engagement will be leaders in this regard,” Alexander said.
At the request of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, also a CMF member, CMF performed research to identify funders supporting aging populations and specific funding priorities. The survey revealed that in Michigan approximately 3 percent of grantmaking directly supports aging.
CMF’s Michigan Grantmakers in Aging (MGIA) affinity group has developed a breakout session on October 27 at Our Common Future conference which will examine creative ways the social sector can stay focused on current priorities while considering senior-related issues in Supporting Seniors Supports Everyone.
“We look forward to a robust dialogue with our fellow CMF members at this year’s conference focusing on how a society that is better for older adults is better for people of all ages,” Wendy Brightman, co-chair of MGIA and president, United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation said.
"Aging has implications for a wide range of philanthropic priorities: health, housing, education, transportation and employment, etc.,” Vincent Tilford, co-chair, MGIA and executive director, Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation said. “As we fund in these different areas, let's take the opportunity to encourage the redesign of systems and social policies that facilitate the contributions of older adults and expand opportunities for everyone to be full participants in our society."
Alexander shared that there’s especially a need for support in workforce development, as it relates to recruiting, training and sustaining caregivers.
“Major funders are now taking a look at the importance of caregiving. Around 80 percent of caregiving is provided by informal caregivers (family and friends). It is very important to support them and to educate employers to work with them to allow for flexibility and to maintain productivity throughout the process,” Alexander said.
You can search the AARP Livability Index to see how your community scores in housing, neighborhood transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity.
Learn more about AARP’s Livable Communities.
M&M Area Community Foundations supports free dental screenings for children
Content excerpted from a community foundation update.
The M&M Area Community Foundation (MMACF) announced its partnering with MDS Community Action Agency to provide free dental screenings to all children enrolled in the Menominee County Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
This $3,000 program is funded by a grant the community foundation received from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
The American Dental Association, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that a child should see a dentist as soon as teeth begin to erupt, or no later than 1 year old.
The community foundation shared that often this presents more of a challenge in rural areas.
“As a former teacher myself, I am glad the MMACF is able to help foster a lifelong love of learning by ensuring students are able to concentrate instead of being distracted by dental pain,” Paula Gruszynski, MMACF executive director said. “Screenings are a great start to making sure children who are in need of treatment receive necessary follow-up.”