Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book shows where progress is being made or still needed

The 2018 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book offers the latest data on 17 measures of child well-being, showing whether outcomes for children across the commonwealth have improved, worsened, or stayed the same over a five-year period.

Detailed data is available for every Kentucky county at

“Core to our mission, we believe that children of every background and in every part of Kentucky deserve all the tools and opportunities that we as a commonwealth can provide. This book serves as an annual report card for how we are meeting that charge for all of our kids,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.

The 2018 County Data Book allows users to investigate areas in which Kentucky and its counties are making progress and those needing focused attention for improvement. It highlights data in four domains of child well-being: economic security, education, health, and family and community.

The 2018 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book was made possible with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the 2018 KIDS COUNT sponsors: Passport Health Plan, Kosair Charities®, and Delta Dental of Kentucky.


Latest Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book shows how children are faring in all 120 counties

KY Youth Advocates logoThe 2015 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book – released by Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) – helps take a closer look at how children are faring in your county, where your county ranks on overall child well-being, and what has happened in the last 25 years in Kentucky to help kids succeed.

The 2015 County Data Book ranks all Kentucky counties on overall child well-being based on 16 indicators that relate to economic security, education, health, and family and community strength.

“Governors and the Kentucky General Assembly made significant strides in policies to help kids over the last quarter century, such as the Kentucky Education Reform Act, juvenile justice reform, and ensuring more children have health insurance,” said Terry Brooks, executive director of KYA. “But we still face dire challenges. With more than one in four Kentucky children living in poverty; almost half of fourth graders not proficient in reading; and more than one in five mothers smoking during pregnancy, we have a long way to go to get Kentucky where it needs to be for children.”

Passport Health Plan is proud to be the Signature Sponsor of the 25th edition of the County Data Book. The 2015 County Data Book and county-specific profiles for all 120 counties are available at The County Data Book is a county-level counterpart to the 2015 national KIDS COUNT Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in July.


More Kentucky children have health care coverage under Medicaid expansion, new report shows

KY Youth Advocates logoThe number of Kentucky children without health insurance fell by 27% over a one-year period, according to a new report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families and Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA), helping the state move from 28th place to 15th place in state rankings on children’s health care coverage. Children in both urban and rural areas saw improvements in their uninsured rates.

“Once again, the benefits of establishing kynect and expanding health care coverage to more Kentuckians have been independently substantiated in a new report released this week by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families and Kentucky Youth Advocates,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “While most people would agree that a healthy child is a better, more productive student, the report found even greater returns in the long term. Children with Medicaid coverage were less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to graduate from college, making them healthier and more successful adults who are less likely to be reliant on government assistance. When we invest early and often in the health and well-being of our children, we are investing in the economic future of our Commonwealth. And the return we see on that investment is priceless.”

The report, which compared 2013 and 2014 Census data, estimated that the number of uninsured children in Kentucky declined from about 60,000 in 2013 to about 43,000 in 2014. The report authors attribute the gains to the strong Medicaid and KCHIP programs and improvements to Kentucky’s health coverage system, such as the creation of kynect.

“When children have health care coverage, they are able to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy and show up for school ready to learn,” said Terry Brooks, KYA executive director. “It also means their families can afford to take them to the doctor when they are sick so they don’t wind up having to rely on more expensive hospital care if they get sicker.”

The report also notes that improvements to children’s coverage have been shown to provide a strong return on government investment. Research shows that children with Medicaid coverage were less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to graduate from college. They also had better health and economic success as adults making them less reliant on safety net programs.

Families who would like to enroll their children in health care coverage should call 1-855-459-6328 or visit Families can enroll their children in Medicaid or KCHIP at any time; open enrollment for private health plans begins on Sunday, November 1.

The full report can be found online by clicking here.


Kentucky Works to Make Sure all Medicaid Members Keep Their Address Current and Up to Date

KY Youth Advocates logoThe Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) is working with Passport and other healthcare providers to make sure all Medicaid members keep their address is updated with the state.

If DMS receives any returned mail from an address that is not current, members could be dis-enrolled from Passport (and lose all of their Passport-specific benefits). However, if this happens, the member will NOT lose their overall Medicaid eligibility; instead, they will remain eligible for Kentucky Medicaid and will be in the fee-for-service (FFS) category until their address is updated.​

If an address appears incorrect, the member will have the remainder of that month plus another month to update the address.

Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) recently posted an article on their website about this, along with instructions for members to update their address. According to the post:

  • If health coverage was secured through the Kynect website (, the address can be changed online. Or, a member can call 1-855-459-6328 to change an address.
  • If a member applied for health coverage through DCBS, the member can call 1-855-306-8959 to change an address.
  • If a member applied for health coverage through SSI, the member can call 1-800-772-1213 to change an address.

If you have any questions about this, please contact Kynect at 1-855-459-6328 or Passport at 1-800-578-0603.


Passport Supports Kentucky Youth Advocates’ Push to Reduce Smoking During Pregnancy

smokingHealthy pregnancies lead to healthy babies.  Pregnant women should have the support they need to make healthy choices as important as not smoking during pregnancy.  Yet a stubbornly high statistic—smoking during pregnancy—warns us that too many Kentucky babies don’t get a strong start. We can protect Kentucky babies by enacting comprehensive smoke-free policies prohibiting smoking indoors in workplaces and public places. For more information from  Kentucky Youth Advocates and the issue-at-hand, click here.