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Insuring 10 Million Children

Posted on by Karina

Today the House will consider H.R. 3963, a revised version of H.R. 976, State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization which the President vetoed. Like the original bill, this legislation continues to provide health care coverage for 10 million children. However, the revised bill also contains some new provisions to meet concerns that have been raised in the following four areas: 1) high-income children; 2) illegal immigrants; 3) coverage of adults; and 4) children moving from private insurance to SCHIP. Below are highlights of some of the bill's provisions.

The revised bill further clarifies that the legislation is targeted on enrolling low-income children first:

SCHIP coverage will be capped at 300 percent of poverty.
States will only receive bonus payments for enrolling eligible children in Medicaid, the lowest income children in a state.

The revised bill further clarifies that the legislation does not allow illegal immigrants to get SCHIP:

If the Social Security Administration cannot confirm an applicant's citizenship, the applicant will be required to provide the state with additional documentation to confirm eligibility.

The revised bill further clarifies that the legislation is focused on prioritizing children's coverage and phasing out adults:

Whereas under the original bill, childless adults are phased out over two years, under the revised bill they are phased out over one year.

The revised bill also further clarifies that the legislation is designed to minimize children moving from private insurance to SCHIP (known as “crowd-out”):

All states will be required to develop plans and implement recommended best practices for minimizing “crowd-out.”
Premium assistance programs (using SCHIP funds to help subsidize employer-sponsored health coverage for a child) are added to the list of things a state can do to get bonus payments.

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