OHIO | Report: Ohioans struggle to access health care during COVID-19

Children’s Defense Fund Ohio

Health Care is a basic need for every family in Ohio, and as we enter the fourth month of a public health emergency caused by the Coronavirus, accessing quality health care is critical. Ohio’s unemployment rate skyrocketed as nearly 1.3 million unemployment claims have been filed. With the loss of jobs and incomes, families are struggling to maintain health care coverage and access to care.

Prior to the pandemic, the state of Ohio experienced one of the sharpest increases in the child uninsured rates in the nation. The Ohio Department of Medicaid and the DeWine Administration committed to examining its system to ensure that eligible children and families have access to the care they need. Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio is committed to working with partners across the state and the nation to ensure all children have health care coverage and access to services – especially during this time.

The Child Watch Ohio series provides a window into the on the ground reality of many Ohioans. These stories share the experiences of families, service providers, health care providers and others around the state with a focus on challenges and barriers to accessing and maintaining health care during the pandemic. The human impact of how COVID-19 pandemic is affecting families and communities and highlighting the importance of quality, accessible healthcare in a time of crisis.

It is critically important to make these real human stories accessible to policy makers whose districts are affected by these challenges. Further, Child Watch Ohio series offer policy recommendations informed by those directly impacted by the pandemic and by the already-existing weaknesses in our human services system to alleviate barriers and make health care more accessible to all Ohioans.

Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio will launch its Child Watch Ohio series on July 15th, with one to follow every two weeks through September. The initial story focuses on the southeastern Ohio counties of Jackson and Vinton and discusses evidence-based home visiting, maternal health, and barriers to care such as transportation and lack of service and equipment for telehealth service options.

The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

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