Want to Cover More Children? Adopt Health Reform’s Medicaid Expansion

October 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

A new report from the Georgetown Center for Children and Families brings good news:  the share of children without health coverage continues to drop, from 8.6 percent in 2009 to 7.5 percent in 2011.  Higher enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — plus health reform’s requirement that states maintain their current Medicaid and CHIP eligibility rules — played critical roles in this drop, the report finds, even as the number of children with employer-sponsored insurance fell.

The report also notes that if we’re going to expand children’s coverage further, states must fully implement health reform, particularly its expansion of Medicaid coverage to more low-income adults.

Research shows that when states expand Medicaid for parents, the number of uninsured children falls, because parents are more likely to sign up their children for coverage when the whole family can get coverage.  Studies also find that when parents have coverage, their children are less likely to experience breaks in their own coverage and are more likely to receive preventive care and other needed care.

As the Georgetown report notes, two-thirds of the nation’s 5.5 million uninsured children are already eligible for Medicaid or CHIP coverage but are unenrolled.  To make further progress in covering children, states should make sure that their parents have access to coverage in 2014 by adopting the Medicaid expansion.

Print Friendly

More About Jesse Cross-Call

Jesse Cross-Call

Jesse Cross-Call is a Policy Analyst in the Health Policy division of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In this role he examines issues related to the implementation of health reform and provides information and technical assistance to state and local officials, providers, and nonprofit organizations who are working on issues related to expanding coverage to the uninsured through Medicaid and the new health reform marketplaces.

Full bio | Blog Archive | Research archive at CBPP.org

Your Comment

Comment Policy:

Thank you for joining the conversation about important policy issues. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters and are subject to approval and moderation. We reserve the right to remove comments that:

  • are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate;
  • contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs;
  • solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites or to sell products or services;
  • may infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of others or other applicable laws or regulations; or
  • are otherwise inconsistent with the goals of this blog.

Posted comments do not necessarily represent the views of the CBPP and do not constitute official endorsement by CBPP. Please note that comments will be approved during the Center's business hours. If you have questions, please contact communications@cbpp.org.

two + = 5

 characters available