Arizona's KidsCare program, a state version of the federally sponsored Children's Health Insurance Program, has seen enrollment numbers in August drop to the lowest level since 1999. Enrollment went from a peak of 66,317 in May 2008 to 16,662 in August, while demand for the program is strong. In July, more than 100,000 children were on the waiting list for KidsCare.
The freeze raised concerns at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about Arizona's ability to retain children in the program. Since the freeze was enacted, nearly 30,000 children have been dropped. State officials attribute most of the decline to long-standing factors that would have occurred with or without an enrollment freeze, including some families qualifying for Medicaid and others failing to renew their eligibility or pay their premiums