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New SCHIP enrollees have unmet health care needs
Date:5/4/2008

do not have private coverage. Under the Federal law, states received grants of federal dollars to help with costs of insurance expansions, and had several options for how to expand coverage for children using those dollars. New York received federal approval for Child Health Plus, which was created in New York in 1991. The University of Rochester Medical Center has been studying that program since its inception.

Earlier University of Rochester Medical Center research has shown that the program greatly increases childrens access to primary care, preventive care, as well as other needed health care. SCHIP markedly reduces childrens unmet health care needs and reduces pre-existing racial disparities in access, unmet need and continuity of care. Long-term uninsured and lowest-income children, who were most disenfranchised before SCHIP enrollment, demonstrate the most dramatic gains after enrollment in SCHIP. Parents of children with asthma and special health care needs were more satisfied and better able to afford care and medications for their childs condition once enrolled.

When the program came up for federal renewal last year, the debate over whether to expand the program focused on several aspects. In addition to debating where funding for the expansion would come from, the executive and legislative branches were at odds about whether families would leave private insurance for the public program. The program has been extended but without funding to expand it and questions remain about whether current funding will continue to cover those already enrolled.

Just last month, New York Governor David Paterson approved a state budget that included an expansion of the program with state funding; several other states are considering following suit.


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Contact: Becky Jones
rebecca_jones@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-8490
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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