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Aligning Eligibility for Children: Moving the Stairstep Kids to Medicaid

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that Medicaid cover children with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) ($31,322 for a family of four in 2013) as of January 2014. Today, there are “stairstep” eligibility rules for children. States must cover children under the age of six in families with income of at least 133 percent of the FPL in Medicaid while older children and teens with incomes above 100 percent of the FPL may be covered in separate state Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) or Medicaid at state option. While many states already cover children in Medicaid with income up to 133 percent FPL, due to the change in law, 21 states needed to transition some children from CHIP to Medicaid. This brief examines how the transition of children from CHIP to Medicaid will affect children and families as well as states. The brief also looks to New York and Colorado for lessons learned from the early transition of coverage.

Congressional Testimony on Expanding Health Care Coverage

On May 5, 2009, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a roundtable discussion on health-care coverage issues as part of its health reform efforts. Diane Rowland, the Foundation’s Executive Vice President and Executive Director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and Gary Claxton, Foundation Vice President…

A Historical Review of How States Have Responded to the Availability of Federal Funds for Health Coverage

This historical review finds that the availability of federal funds has served as an effective incentive for states to provide health coverage to meet the health and long-term care needs of their low-income residents despite state budget pressures. The brief examines the history of earlier experiences and provides important context for how states may respond as they weigh the costs and benefits of expanding their Medicaid programs in 2014 as called for under the Affordable Care Act.

Child Health Facts: National and State Profiles of Coverage

Child Health Facts: National and State Profiles of Coverage Nearly 10 million children in the United States lack health insurance coverage and over two-thirds of them or low-income. This databook provides baseline data on how many children are uninsured today and on the extent of Medicaid coverage. It provides astarting…

CHIP TIPS: CHIP Financing Structure

This brief, the fourth in a series, examines important changes to CHIP’s financing structure under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. The law includes a number of important programmatic and financing changes that affect both Medicaid and CHIP. Among the most important changes include significant new funding…

How Will Uninsured Children Be Affected By Health Reform?

This brief examines uninsured children and how they could be affected by health reform, including estimates of how many might qualify for coverage under a Medicaid expansion, how many would be eligible for subsidies and how many would not be eligible for such help. Issue Brief (.pdf)

CHIP TIPS: Children’s Oral Health Benefits

This brief examines a new requirement under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 that state CHIP programs cover comprehensive dental benefits. The reauthorization law also allows states with separate CHIP programs to offer a dental-only plan for children who have other health insurance but lack adequate dental…

Health Affairs Article: Beyond Incrementalism? SCHIP and the Politics of Health Reform

This article examines the political and legislative history of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and analyzes the lessons for policymakers who are contemplating broader health care reform. It was published online in the journal Health Affairs and was authored by Jonathan Oberlander, an associate professor, social medicine and health policy…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.