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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.

State Medicaid Eligibility Policies for Individuals Moving Into and Out of Incarceration

This brief highlights how state eligibility policies for incarcerated individuals differ, based on a review of state statutes, regulations, Medicaid eligibility manuals and other Medicaid agency guidance publicly available online and Medicaid managed care contracts. Overall, state Medicaid eligibility policies for individuals moving into and out of incarceration vary, and these policies affect if and when individuals may enroll in Medicaid and the scope of any resulting savings.

Trends in Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Over Time

While Medicaid and CHIP eligibility has increased over time, there is significant variation in eligibility levels across states and eligibility groups. This analysis examines trends in Medicaid and CHIP eligibility limits over time for children, pregnant women, parents, and other adults. It also explores how trends in eligibility for these groups vary by several variables, including geographic region, Medicaid expansion status, and state health ranking.

Where Are States Today? Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility Levels for Adults, Children, and Pregnant Women

This fact sheet provides an overview of eligibility levels for parents, other non-disabled adults, children, and pregnant women in Medicaid and CHIP. The data are based on eligibility levels reported by states as of January 2015, updated to reflect state Medicaid expansion decisions as of April 2015. The findings highlight Medicaid’s expanded role for low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its continued role as a primary source of coverage for children and pregnant women.