Monday, November 29, 2010

Over 4 Million Children Not Receiving Medicaid or CHIP, Despite Eligibility

Image Courtesy of jscreationzs/
In March, numerous healthcare initiatives were signed into law. In September, a report was published that examined “the average day in 2008,” with regard to American children and the widespread lack of medical insurance. This issue is one that is going to take serious efforts by Americans and lawmakers alike to fix.

According to Medical News Today, citing a report published in Health Affairs, a startling 4.7 million children were uninsured but eligible for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 2008. The estimated number of uninsured American children was around 7.3 million, and unfortunately, almost two-thirds (65%) were eligible.

What policies should U.S. lawmakers explore to combat this trend? One solution may be an “auto-enrollment.” The authors note that it may be feasible to use income tax information to automatically enroll kids.

Of the 4.7 million eligible but non-enrolled children, most are from families barely above the federal poverty level. Experts must figure out the reason for the state-to-state disparities. By region, the percentage rates of enrolled children are given below.
  • Northeast 87.7%
  • Midwest 85.3%
  • West 78.8%
  • South 79.8%
The authors of the study state that more research is needed to determine why some states are lagging behind others, in terms of enrollments. Some factors that need to be assessed include political cultures, income per capita, and population density.

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