Louisiana has been pushing to get more low-income children covered by health insurance, and that worthwhile effort is paying off.

More Louisiana children have health insurance now, thanks to efforts to increase enrollment in the Louisiana Child Insurance Program.

That's a historic low and translates into 16,190 fewer uninsured children since 2009, the last time that the health insurance survey was done.

The 2011 results show a drop from 2009, when 5 percent were uninsured, and an even steeper decrease from 2003, when the state Department of Health commissioned the first survey.

Giving more Louisiana children a healthy start in life should help them enjoy healthier lives as adults.

The state also expanded health care access through the LaCHIP Affordable Plan, which allows families with incomes of up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level to get coverage for their children.

It also streamlined enrollment. Children who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are now automatically enrolled in Medicaid, which has the same eligibility requirements. That change resulted in 7,875 children getting enrolled in Medicaid.

The 2011 survey shows that fewer children are slipping through the cracks in the health care system, LDH Secretary Bruce Greenstein said. That's an encouraging improvement.