5 Reasons We Are Celebrating CHIP’s 10- Year Extension this National Children’s Dental Health Month!
Along with celebrating Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and the Lunar New Year this February we are also elevating kids' oral health for National Children’s Dental Health Month! There is a lot to celebrate when funding for CHIP was extended for the next 10 years, and here’s why the Oral Health For All team at Families USA is stoked!
Great news out of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting health insurance for children. Based on analysis of data from 50 states, they found that the rate of children without health insurance has plummeted to a new record low.
As their Executive Director Joan Alker explained in her blog, the new report attributes this historic drop in the rate of uninsured children in large part to the ACA, “which for kids was building on more than a decade of success by Medicaid and CHIP working together.”
Communities of color face significant health disparities and are more likely to suffer from certain chronic conditions, like diabetes, where early detection and treatment could mean the difference between life and death. One way to improve the odds for people with these conditions is to increase access to services, like necessary medications or periodic medical tests, that prevent the progression of, or complications from, those diseases.
Unfortunately for many lower-income consumers with high-deductible health insurance plans, the out-of-pocket expense of this essential care is well beyond their financial reach, causing them to forgo care.
With last month’s Supreme Court ruling affirming that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay, advocates and decisionmakers can turn to building on the law’s success, such as closing the Medicaid gap, improving the value of care, and eliminating the “family glitch.” Another top priority in this next phase of health reform is making good on the promise of health care for all, regardless of immigration status. Last month, California, the state with the most undocumented immigrants, took a momentous leap in that direction.
While Congress wrestles with budget reconciliation and takes another swipe at the Affordable Care Act, most state lawmakers are back at their day jobs and finished with legislative business for the year. The 2015 sessions produced a few highlights, and some lowlights, for health care advocates. Lawmakers continued to grapple with full implementation of the ACA, but some looked beyond the health care law to move their states toward a health reform 2.0 agenda. Below we note some of the significant work this year in state capitals.
More than 30 consumer groups, 37 senators, and 50 House members agree: Pregnant women should be allowed to enroll in health coverage when they find out they’re pregnant, even if it is outside the open enrollment period. Pregnant women who lack health insurance often go without necessary prenatal care, thus jeopardizing their health and that of their babies. Already, thousands of people have joined with the senators to call for the creation of a special enrollment period. Families USA has signed on as a partner in this effort, and we ask that you join us to demand access to health care for pregnant women.
Anyone concerned about affordable health care in the United States is rightly focused on the upcoming second open enrollment period and Medicaid expansion in the states. But there’s another important effort that demands advocates’ attention—extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Now is the time to ramp up awareness of the funding crisis threatening CHIP and enlisting the support of lawmakers to defend it. If Congress does not act in the coming year, millions of children will be left without affordable health insurance next October.
Researchers from Cornell and Harvard have found that children who have health insurance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) go further in school than children who are uninsured, according to a recent report. Compared to their uninsured counterparts, children covered by Medicaid or CHIP are more likely to complete high school, as well as attend and complete college. Medicaid or CHIP health coverage helps children perform better academically through adulthood, which can help them succeed in life.
Federal funding for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expires in September 2015. At a time when we are expanding health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, we must also ensure that CHIP—which, as of June 2013, provided health coverage to 5.7 million low-income children—continues well beyond next year. If Congress does not extend CHIP in 2015, millions of children will be left without affordable health insurance.