Issue Brief
September 2018

Health Coverage Matters for Children: The Role of Medicaid in the Healthy Development of America's Children

Access to health care is crucial to children’s health and development. When children have health insurance, they are more likely to get the health care they need. For more than 40 percent of children in the U.S.—approximately 37 million children—Medicaid is the health insurance they rely on. Another 8.9 million children are enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid’s sister program. The success of Medicaid and CHIP is largely responsible for the fact that 95 percent of children under 18 have some form of health coverage.

Issue Brief
September 2018

Community Health Workers in Delivery and Payment Transformation: How New Delivery and Payment Models Can Incentivize and Support the Use of CHWs

The current attention on implementing delivery and payment reforms to improve the quality of care and health outcomes while reducing costs creates an important opportunity for greater integration of CHWs into the health care system and for providing more sustainable financing for CHWs. In this brief, we detail how health system transformation initiatives in Vermont and Oregon align with the value that CHWs provide and how these initiatives can incentivize CHW integration. 

Issue Brief
July 2018

Risking Access to Needed Medicines for Medicaid Beneficiaries Will Not Fix High Drug Prices

Lowering the price of prescription drugs remains one of the top health care priorities for consumers.1 But pharmaceutical manufacturers continue to increase prices on lifesaving medications.2 A recent proposal from the Trump Administration seeks to control prescription drug costs in Medicaid by giving states the authority to eliminate people’s access to needed and even lifesaving drugs. This approach fails to address the underlying issue of pharmaceutical manufacturers setting such high prices at the national level.

Issue Brief
July 2018

Treating Pain Is Not Enough: Why States’ Emergency-Only Dental Benefits Fall Short

States have great latitude to determine the scope of dental benefits that they will cover for adults through their Medicaid programs. While some states cover comprehensive benefits, others cover emergency dental care only or none at all. This variation in coverage matters. Without adequate dental coverage, people face major barriers to getting care they need to stay healthy. To better understand the consequences of insufficient dental coverage, Families USA conducted a survey of  states that cover emergency-only dental services.

Issue Brief
June 2018

How States Can Use Medicaid Managed Care Contracts to Support Community Health Workers

Medicaid managed care contracting is a promising pathway for securing more sustainable funding for community health workers (CHWs). This issue brief provides examples of contract language that can be used to incentivize or require Medicaid managed care organizations to utilize and fund CHWs and considerations for advocates looking to improve support for CHWs through this pathway.

Issue Brief
June 2018

How Medicaid Protects Children with Special Health Care Needs

Half of U.S. children with special health care needs, nearly 7 million children, rely on Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for health insurance to cover some or all of their medical care. Medicaid and CHIP cover 48 percent of children with special health care needs. CHIP, which covers low- to moderate-income children above the Medicaid income limit, is administered by states sometimes as a separate program, but often through state Medicaid programs. This issue brief explores why Medicaid plays a unique role in serving children with special health care needs. 

Issue Brief
December 2017

A Call to Action for Health Equity Leaders: Health Care Transformation Efforts Must Include a Strong Focus on Health Equity

Our nation’s health care system is rapidly transforming, and the health of people of color and other disadvantaged communities hangs in the balance. Moving to a value-based health care system presents a critical opportunity to achieve health equity. But without particular attention to how disadvantaged communities will be affected and without including these communities in designing these reform efforts, we risk exacerbating disparities in health and health care.

Issue Brief
December 2017

Using Hospital Community Benefits to Improve Access to Oral Health Care

As part of their tax obligation to provide benefits to the community beyond hospital care, nonprofit hospitals can fund oral health initiatives such as community dental clinics, mobile dental services, vouchers for dental care and oral health advocacy coalitions in the communities they serve. In this issue brief we explain how to advocate for such initiatives.

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