FL Families Urged to Sign Up for KidCare as CHIP Marks Silver Anniversary
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
As a program to improve health-insurance access for children celebrates its silver anniversary, there are calls to ensure it remains strong for the future.
Friday is the 25th anniversary of the Children's Health Insurance Program, created by Congress to cover millions of young people who might not otherwise have health care coverage.
Alison Yager, executive director of the Florida Health Justice Project, said program dollars to extend Medicaid eligibility have made significant reductions in the uninsured. For instance, in 2008 the uninsured child rate was 17.3%, and dropped to 7.6% in 2019 under the state's federally-backed program called Florida KidCare.
"Basic services like doctor and dentist visits, and immunizations, prescription medications, hospital visits," Yager outlined. "CHIP has been a lifeline for working families in Florida who aren't offered or can't afford health insurance on their own."
Since the program began, the rate of uninsured children in the U.S. has dropped nearly 10 percentage points. In January, nearly 2.8 million Florida children were enrolled in KidCare.
Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, thinks Congress should permanently reauthorize the program, to build on the progress it has made.
"A few times over the 25 years, CHIP has become a little bit of a political football, and we've seen some instances where we've had lapses in the program," Alker pointed out. "We know that CHIP works, and having Congress move to make it permanent would be great."
Yager noted changes to the Public Charge Rule under the Trump administration caused concern for immigrant families, but she added the Biden administration reversed the changes, putting things back to the way it used to be for decades.
"The bottom line is accessing public health coverage does not impact immigration status," Yager explained. "It's really important that we do more to let immigrant families know to sign your kids up if they're eligible; don't hesitate to enroll your kids."
The public health emergency is set to expire Oct. 13, but it could be extended, as it has been several other times. During the federal Public Health Emergency, states received more funding for Medicaid and were not allowed to drop people from Medicaid coverage. Yager urged lawmakers to make the provisions permanent.
get more stories like this via email
As the opioid crisis continues, more New Hampshire grandparents are seeking financial help to raise their grandchildren. Already struggling with the …
As of Jan. 1, insulin will become a lot more affordable for many Nebraskans, and those who have come to rely on telehealth visits are more likely to …
Some state and local lawmakers are on a long list calling on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to require big oil companies to help offset the costs of …
Utilities and government agencies in the U.S. are carrying out plans to transition to cleaner electricity sources. To avoid being left behind…
Health and Wellness
November has been Diabetes Awareness Month - but heading into the holidays, people who are diabetic know they can't lose their focus on keeping it in …
Conservation groups are celebrating a long-fought battle to protect the dwindling population of wolverine in the Northwest and northern Rockies…
As world leaders gather in Dubai for the international conference on climate change, the City of Long Beach is acting on multiple fronts to help the …
A new report is calling for greater accountability in the system providing funding to farmers in underserved communities. The research takes a dive …