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Children’s Health Coverage: A Primer

Monday, February 02, 2009

Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) play a crucial role in the U.S. health insurance system by providing coverage for more than one in four children. During 2005, about 29 million children were enrolled in Medicaid at some point in the year and more than 6 million were covered through SCHIP. Though more than 65 percent of children in the U.S. are covered by private insurance (most through their parents’ employers), Medicaid and SCHIP have helped to increase health care coverage for millions of children.

SCHIP’s 10-year authorization expired last year, and temporary funding was enacted that funds the program through this March. Congress is currently reconsidering SCHIP reauthorization legislation, as well as Medicaid relief for the states. Questions about SCHIP reauthorization and/or expansion and assistance for Medicaid coverage come at a critical economic time when the loss of jobs may lead to the loss of employer-sponsored health coverage for parents and children. Some 9 million children remain uninsured today, and this number could well grow as the recession worsens.

How do Medicaid and SCHIP work today to cover children? How can enrollment simplification and outreach help reach those children who are eligible but unenrolled? Do state programs differ in eligibility requirements and benefits offered? How are state budgets holding up under the strain of the economic downturn? What will be the impact of the recession on coverage of children in Medicaid and SCHIP?

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured sponsored a February 2 briefing. Panelists were: Diane Rowland, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured; Ruth Kennedy, director of Louisiana LaCHIP; and Terri Shaw, the Children’s Partnership. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Diane Rowland, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Speaker
 Ruth Kennedy, Louisiana LaCHIP, Speaker
 Terri Shaw, The Children's Partnership, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Children's Health Coverage: A Primer (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 2/2/2009
Event Summary: Children's Health Coverage: A Primer (Word Document), 3/2/2009
Full Webcast/Podcast: Children’s Health Coverage: A Primer

The transcript, full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Diane Rowland Presentation (PowerPoint), 2/2/2009
Ruth Kennedy Presentation (PowerPoint), 2/2/2009
Terri Shaw Presentation (PowerPoint), 2/2/2009

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 1/29/2009
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 1/29/2009
Sourcelist (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 1/29/2009
Children's Health Coverage: A Primer (Word Document), , 3/2/2009

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

SCHIP Guidelines: Principles for Health Insurance Coverage for Children and Families, American Enterprise Institute, 5/21/2007
Federal court dismisses New Jersey suit over SCHIP limits, American Medicial News, 12/22/2008
Fact Sheet for CBO’s March 2008 Baseline: State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Congressional Budget Office, 3/22/2008
SCHIP, crowd-out, and the August 17 directive, Congressional Budget Office, 4/9/2008
A House Is Not A Home: Keeping Patients At The Center Of Practice Redesign, Centers on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/11/2007
Improving Children’s Health: A Chartbook about the Roles of Medicaid and SCHIP, Centers on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1/1/2007
SCHIP Enrollees with Special Health Care Needs and Access to Care, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Child Health Insurance Research Initiative, 8/1/2006
Do SCHIP Enrollees Stay Insured?, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Child Health Insurance Research Initiative, 5/1/2008
SCHIP Ever Enrolled in Year (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2/7/2008
Medicaid Re-Enrollment Policies and Children’s Risk of Hospitalizations for Ambulatory Care, The Commonwealth Fund, 10/22/2008
Fact Sheet: Children, Cover the Uninsured, 1/5/2008
What Happens to SCHIP After March 31, 2009?, Congressional Research Service, 12/19/2008
Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 2008, Employee Benefit Research Institute, 9/1/2008
Estimated Number of Children Enrolled in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Families USA, 7/1/2008
Federal Matching Rates for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Families USA, 12/1/2008
Upper Public Program Eligibility Levels for Children and Adults (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Families USA, 12/1/2008
Program Design Snapshot: State Buy-In Programs for Children (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families, 11/1/2008
Coping With SCHIP Enrollment Caps: Lessons From Seven States’ Experiences, Health Affairs, 2/1/2007
Fixing SCHIP and Expanding Children’s Health Care Coverage, The Heritage Foundation, 5/2/2007
SCHIP and “Crowd-Out:” The High Cost of Expanding Eligibility, The Heritage Foundation, 9/20/2007
Uninsured Children and Adolescents With Insured Parents, Journal of the American Medical Association, 10/1/2008
Persistent Disparities in Health Insurance Coverage: Hispanic Children, 1996-2005, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 11/1/2008
Emerging Health Information Technology for Children in Medicaid and SCHIP Programs , Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 11/19/2008
Health Coverage of Children: The Role of Medicaid and SCHIP, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 11/24/2008
Covering Uninsured Children: Reaching and Enrolling Citizen Children with Non-Citizen Parents, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 1/22/2009
Next Steps in Covering Uninsured Children: Findings from the 2007 Kaiser Survey of Children's, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 1/22/2009
Chartbook on Health Insurance Coverage of America's Children, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 1/22/2009
Enrolling Uninsured Low-Income Children in Medicaid and SCHIP, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 1/22/2009
Health Insurance Status of Children in America, First Half 1996-2007, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 8/1/2008
Revisiting Crowd-Out, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 9/1/2007
Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States (Adobe Acrobat PDF),U.S. Census Bureau, 8/1/2008
Setting Income Thresholds in Medicaid/ SCHIP: Which Children Should Be Eligible?, The Urban Institute, 1/12/2009
E-Health Snapshot: Harnessing Technology To Improve Medicaid and SCHIP Enrollment and Retention, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and The Children's Partnership, 5/16/2007
Children's Health Information Technology Action Plan, The Children's Partnership, 12/15/2008
Seven Steps Toward State Success in Covering Children Continuously, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Academy for State Health Policy, 10/1/2006


Terri Shaw, deputy director of The Children's Partnership, describes efforts to help children get and keep SCHIP and Medi-Cal (Medicaid) coverage in California. (18 min.) From the Feb. 2 briefing cosponsored by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Ruth Kennedy, director of Louisiana's LaCHIP/Medicaid Eligibility Division, discusses how her state dramatically reduced the number of uninsured children since 1999. (12 min.) From the Feb. 2 briefing cosponsored by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Diane Rowland describes the importance of Medicaid and CHIP to children, and some ways that states are simplifying enrollment and renewal. She is executive vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation and executive director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. (11 min.) From the Feb. 2 briefing cosponsored by the commission.


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