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Uninsured kids in middle class have same unmet needs as poor
Date:5/2/2008

  • 30 percent for those over 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($78,629 and above)

    Since 1997, the national State Childrens Health Insurance Program has provided health insurance to low-income children who are not eligible for Medicaid and do not have private coverage. Under the federal law, states received grants of federal dollars to help with costs of insurance expansions, and they had several options for how to expand coverage for children using those dollars.

    A pediatric research team at the University of Rochester Medical Center has been studying Child Health Plus (New Yorks state-specific plan beginning in 1991, which in 1997, received federal approval to become the states SCHIP plan) since its inception. Earlier research by this team 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. 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, there were several sources of disagreement over whether to expand the program. In addition to debating the potential funding source for the expansion, the executive and legislative branches held different expectations as to how often families would leave private insurance for the public program, particularly at the higher income levels (200 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level).

    Congress has extended SCHIP at flat funding, with no expansion. Questions remain about whether current funding will continue to cover those already enrolled. Since expansion was vetoed at the national level, New Yorks Governor David Paterson has signed state-level proposals to expand Child H
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  • Contact: Becky Jones
    rebecca_jones@urmc.rochester.edu
    585-275-8490
    University of Rochester Medical Center
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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