New York Governor Calls for Greater Insurance Access for Children
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) on Wednesday announced his commitment to extending access to health coverage to all 500,000 uninsured children in the state, the New York Times reports. A detailed plan will be made public later this month.
The governor will seek to increase enrollment in state programs for uninsured children who already qualify.
Approximately two-thirds of uninsured children are in families with income levels that meet the requirements for Medicaid or Child Health Plus -- New York's insurance program for low- and moderate-income children -- but are not enrolled. Families with incomes up to 160% of the federal poverty level qualify for no-cost coverage, while families with incomes up to 250% are eligible for coverage through Child Health Plus with a monthly premium.
State law allows any child, regardless of income, to be enrolled in Child Health Plus through monthly premiums that average $200.
For uninsured adults, Spitzer said that New York within four years "will enroll the 900,000 Medicaid-eligible adults" by simplifying paperwork.
The Times reports that about one-third of Medicaid beneficiaries in New York do not renew their coverage through the program despite being eligible (Perez-Pena, New York Times, 1/4).