Children’s Health Coverage
A reauthorization of SCHIP by Congress this year should include tools to help states better maintain children's enrollment in the program, according to a study in Health Affairs.
Researchers found that between 1996 and 2000:
- Two-thirds of U.S. children were income eligible for either Medicaid or SCHIP at some point; and
- 42% were uninsured during part of that period.
To increase coverage among uninsured children, the authors advocate additional federal incentives and greater flexibility for states with separate SCHIP and Medicaid programs (Sommers et al., Health Affairs, 8/7).
Reauthorizing SCHIP allows Congress to consider reworking the program to maximize the number of people to which SCHIP can provide health insurance, according to a study by Sara Rosenbaum, chair of the department of health policy in the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University, in the journal Health Affairs.
Noting that the number of uninsured Americans has increased by 10 million since SCHIP was enacted 10 years ago, Rosenbaum advocates a change in SCHIP policies that would permit states to use the program to extend coverage to young adults, as well as pregnant women and family members of SCHIP beneficiaries.
Rosenbaum urges policymakers to consider SCHIP as a component of a larger effort to provide health insurance coverage, especially as many states undertake health care reform initiatives (Rosenbaum, Health Affairs, 8/14). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.