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Issue Brief
June 2009

The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA): Addressing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

By:
Sherice Perry,
Rachel Klein,
Rea Pañares,
Jennifer Sullivan

CHIP has significantly reduced the number of uninsured children in the United States by expanding health coverage to many low-income children. These expansions have particularly helped children of color obtain health coverage. The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) will allow states to cover an additional 4 million uninsured children, further closing gaps in coverage and increasing access to health care for low-income children. 

While CHIP has reduced some disparities in children’s health coverage, other disparities persist. CHIPRA contains several new provisions designed to address these disparities and strengthen the program’s ability to close these gaps, including:

  • Providing outreach grants to increase Medicaid and CHIP enrollment
  • Removing the five-year waiting period for legal immigrant children and pregnant women
  • Providing higher federal matching rates for interpretation and translation services
  • Establishing new quality of care measures that are designed to track children’s health outcomes

This brief analyzes each of these provisions, and it includes a list of action steps for advocates.