CHIP: Enrollment Jumps Across Past Six Months
Enrollment in states' Children's Health Insurance Programs has picked up in the six months since the Clinton administration announced that enrollment approached the one-million mark in its inaugural year. Over the past six months, enrollment grew by more than 50%, climbing to almost 1.3 million by June 30 from states' revised figure of 835,000 as of last December, according to enrollment data collected by Vernon Smith of Health Management Associates Inc. Sponsored by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Smith's report suggested that the program is inching toward its goal of five million children by 2002. Smith found increased enrollment in most states, and significant increases in California, Florida and New York accounted for almost half of the 57% growth. New York led the pack with nearly 81,600 new enrollees, followed by California with 78,800 and Florida with 44,800. In addition to their CHIP enrollment, many states pointed to a "pronounced Medicaid case-finding effect," as states are finding that new Medicaid enrollment is actually outpacing CHIP enrollment. Smith pointed to Alabama officials who said that for every 10 CHIP applications, 5 children were channeled into Medicaid and three into CHIP. In Washington, DC, 1,924 children enrolled in CHIP and 2,500 in Medicaid, while in Michigan, 11,500 were enrolled in CHIP and 41,750 in Medicaid. A copy of "Enrollment Increases in State CHIP Programs: Dec. 1998 to June 1999" can be obtained from the Alliance for Health Reform at 202-466-5626 or from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured at 202-347-5270 (Smith, Alliance for Health Reform release, 7/30).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.