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Selected Sources of Publicly Funded Health Care Coverage1 In West Virginia
Brief Number 2 Update (March 2004)

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The attached tables and map present, by county, the number and percentage of West Virginians receiving publicly funded health care coverage from the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), Medicare, Medicaid, and/or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Table A contains the number of West Virginians covered by each of the four entities; Table B also includes the percentage of county populations represented by these numbers. Figure 1 illustrates the total percentage of recipients of publicly funded health care coverage in each county.

Tables A and B. As of June 2003, PEIA insured 173,212 state residents, or 9.6% of the state’s total population (column 1 in both Tables A and B). PEIA also insures an additional 32,387 with dual PEIA/Medicare coverage (column 3) for a grand total of 205,599 residents, or 11.4% of the total population. This number reflects all covered workers and their eligible dependents. PEIA-insured workers include state government employees, teachers and support staff, higher education personnel, and some municipal and county employees, as well as retirees and their dependents. Taylor County had the highest proportion of residents receiving health care coverage through PEIA at 51.2%, while Doddridge County had the lowest proportion at 0.3%.

The most recent data available from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) on the state’s Medicare-eligible population are presented in column 2. According to HCFA, 298,532 state residents, or 16.6% of the state’s population, were eligible to receive Medicare benefits either because of age or disability as of March 2002. (This number reflects persons eligible to obtain services, not those who actually received services.) McDowell County reported the highest percentage of Medicare-eligible individuals (24.8%), Taylor County the lowest (6.6%).

Sixeen percent (15.6%) of the state’s population is eligible for health care coverage through Medicaid, as shown in column 4. (Again, these data reflect persons eligible to obtain services, not necessarily those who actually received services.) Over one in three McDowell County residents (34.8%) is Medicaid-eligible, compared to 7.0% of Jefferson County residents (about one in fourteen). Fifteen thousand (15,128) state residents are both Medicare and Medicaid eligible; county breakdowns of dual coverage are presented in column 5. Upon adding columns 4 and 5 together, there would be 296,407 West Virginians that are Medicaid eligible resulting in 16.4% of the population.

Table C. As indicated in column 6 of Tables A and B, a total of 21,797 children were enrolled in the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program as of the end of June 2003. This represented 5.1% of the children’s population in West Virginia, as shown in Table C. Kanawha County reported the highest number of enrollees (1,766), while Pendleton County had the lowest number (91).

Table D. In all, a total of 822,335 West Virginians, or 45.6% of the state’s total population, receive (or, in the case of Medicare and Medicaid, are eligible to receive) publicly funded health care coverage. Table D shows the comparison of each category between 2000 (the original version of this brief) and 2003. In 2000, there were 795,548 West Virginians, or 43.9% of the state’s population, receiving or eligible to receive publicly funded health care coverage.

By county, Taylor County has the highest proportion of recipients of publicly funded health care. Over five of every six (84.7%) Taylor County residents receive coverage provided by PEIA, Medicare, Medicaid, and/or CHIP. In contrast, only about one-fourth (26.0%) of Jefferson County residents receive publicly funded health care. Taylor County also had the most significant increase of percentage of residents receiving coverage from 2000 to 2003, at 106.8% (6,575 people to 13,598). Pleasants County, on the other hand, had the highest decrease in percentage at 18.6% (2,946 people to 2,399).


1 Data on additional sources of publicly funded health care coverage such as persons on active military duty, workers’ compensation, UMWA retirees, federal employees, etc. were not available by date of publication.

This page was last updated 6/10/04..
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