(CNSNews.com) - In 24 of the nation’s 50 states at least half of the babies born during the latest year on record had their births paid for by Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
New Mexico led all states with 72 percent of the babies born there in 2015 having their births covered by Medicaid.
Arkansas ranked second with 67 percent; Louisiana ranked third with 65 percent; and three states—Mississippi, Nevada and Wisconsin—tied for fourth place with 64 percent of babies born there covered by Medicaid.
New Hampshire earned the distinction of having the smallest percentage of babies born on Medicaid. In that state, Medicaid paid for the births of only 27 percent of the babies born in 2015.
Virginia and Utah tied for the next to last position, with 31 percent of the babies born on Medicaid.
However, according to KFF, some of the nation’s most populous states shared the distinction of having 50 percent or more of the babies born there born on Medicaid.
In California, Florida and Illinois, for example, 50 percent of all babies were born on Medicaid in the latest year on record.
In New York, 51 percent of the babies were born on Medicaid.
In Ohio, 52 percent of babies were born on Medicaid.
The Kaiser Family Foundation gathered its data on the number of babies born on Medicaid in each state by surveying the state Medicaid directors.
“Medicaid directors were asked to provide the most recent available data on the share of all births in their states that were financed by Medicaid,” said a KFF report.
“About half of the states were able to provide data for calendar 2015 or fiscal year 2015,” said KFF. “Other states generally provided data from 2013 or 2014. On average, states reported that Medicaid pays for just over 47 percent of all births.”
“Eight states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia) reported that Medicaid pays for 60 percent or more of all births in their state,” reported KFF.
The KFF survey said data from Hawaii was not available.
A study published by the journal “Women’s Health Issues” in 2013 looked at births covered by Medicaid in the years 2008, 2009, 2010. The report said it was trying to establish a “baseline” for Medicaid-covered birth before the Affordable Care Act’s—AKA Obamacare’s—expansion of Medicaid kicked in.
“Starting in 2014,” said this report, “some states will extend Medicaid to thousands of previously uninsured, low-income women. Given this changing landscape, it is important to have a baseline of current levels of Medicaid financing for births in each state.”
That study, done by researchers at George Washington University and the March of Dimes, determined that in 2008, 40.08 percent of the births in the United States were covered by Medicaid; and that, in 2009, 43.89 percent were covered by Medicaid.
By 2010, according this report, the percentage of births in the United States covered by Medicaid had risen to 47.75 percent—or 1,805,151 out of 3,780,519 total births.
Another report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later in December 2013, looked at the form of payment for births in the 33 states and the District of Columbia that as of 2010 had adopted the 2003 version of “U.S. Standard Certificate for Live Birth.” This certificate specifically asks the mother to say which of four categories the payment for her child’s birth falls into: private insurance, Medicaid, self-pay, or other.
This data, according to the CDC, covered all 2010 births in the 33 states and the District of Columbia, which accounted for 76 percent of all births in the nation in that year. According to the CDC, this data revealed that 44.9 percent of the babies born in these jurisdictions in 2010 were born on Medicaid.
In this 2010 CDC data for 33 states, New Mexico also led with the highest percentage of births on Medicaid—with 57.5 percent of all babies born there that year having their births covered by Medicaid.