HealthFlorida Families Urged to Sign Up for KidCare as...

Florida Families Urged to Sign Up for KidCare as CHIP Marks Silver Anniversary


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As a program to improve health-insurance access for children celebrates its silver anniversary, there are calls to ensure it remains strong for the future.

Friday is the 25th anniversary of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, created by Congress to cover millions of young people who might not otherwise have health care coverage.

Alison Yager, executive director of the Florida Health Justice Project, said program dollars to extend Medicaid eligibility have made significant reductions in the uninsured. For instance, in 2008 the uninsured child rate was 17.3%, and dropped to 7.6% in 2019 under the state’s federally-backed program called Florida KidCare.

“Basic services like doctor and dentist visits, and immunizations, prescription medications, hospital visits,” Yager outlined. “CHIP has been a lifeline for working families in Florida who aren’t offered or can’t afford health insurance on their own.”

Since the program began, the rate of uninsured children in the U.S. has dropped nearly 10 percentage points. In January, nearly 2.8 million Florida children were enrolled in KidCare.

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, thinks Congress should permanently reauthorize the program, to build on the progress it has made.

“A few times over the 25 years, CHIP has become a little bit of a political football, and we’ve seen some instances where we’ve had lapses in the program,” Alker pointed out. “We know that CHIP works, and having Congress move to make it permanent would be great.”

Yager noted changes to the Public Charge Rule under the Trump administration caused concern for immigrant families, but she added the Biden administration reversed the changes, putting things back to the way it used to be for decades.


“The bottom line is accessing public health coverage does not impact immigration status,” Yager explained. “It’s really important that we do more to let immigrant families know to sign your kids up if they’re eligible; don’t hesitate to enroll your kids.”

The public health emergency is set to expire Oct. 13, but it could be extended, as it has been several other times. During the federal Public Health Emergency, states received more funding for Medicaid and were not allowed to drop people from Medicaid coverage. Yager urged lawmakers to make the provisions permanent.

Instan a familias de Florida a inscribirse en KidCare mientras CHIP celebra su Aniversario de Plata

A medida que un programa mejora el acceso al seguro medico para ninos celebrando su Aniversario de Plata, hay llamados para garantizar que este programa siga siendo solido en el futuro.

Este viernes es el 25.º aniversario del Programa de Seguro Medico para Ninos (CHIP) , creado por el Congreso para cubrir a millones de ninos y ninas que de otro modo no tendrian cobertura medica.

Alison Yager de Florida Health Justice Project dice que los dolares de CHIP que amplian la elegibilidad para Medicaid han logrado reducciones significativas en las personas sin seguro. Por ejemplo, en 2008, la tasa de ninos sin seguro era del 17.3 por ciento, y se redujo al 7.6 por ciento en 2019 bajo el programa estatal combinado de CHIP llamado Florida KidCare.

“Los servicios basicos, como visitas al medico y dentista, inmunizaciones, recetas medicas, visitas al hospital,” subraya Yager. “En realidad, CHIP ha sido un salvavidas para las familias trabajadoras de Florida a las que no se les ofrece o no pueden pagar un seguro de salud por su cuenta.”

Desde que comenzo CHIP, la tasa de ninos sin seguro en los EE. UU. ha disminuido casi diez puntos porcentuales. En el ano fiscal 2020-21, cerca de 2.5 millones de ninos se inscribieron en KidCare.


Joan Alker, del Centro para Ninos y Familias de la Universidad de Georgetown, cree que el Congreso deberia volver a autorizar CHIP de forma permanente, para aprovechar el progreso que se ha logrado.

“Durante los 25 anos de CHIP, algunas veces se ha convertido un poco en un futbol politico, y hemos visto algunos casos en los que hemos tenido fallas en el programa,” dice Alker. “Pero sabemos que CHIP funciona, y que el Congreso se mueva para hacerlo permanente seria genial.”

Yager dice que los cambios en la Regla de Carga Publica bajo la administracion de Trump causaron mucha preocupacion entre las familias migrantes, pero dice que la administracion de Biden revirtio los cambios y las cosas volvieron a ser como solian ser durante decadas.

“Lo importante es que el acceso a la cobertura de salud publica no afecta el estado migratorio,” explica Yager. “Por lo que es muy importante que hagamos mas para que las familias migrantes sepan que deben inscribir a sus hijos si son elegibles; no dudes en inscribir a tus hijos.”

La emergencia de salud publica termina el 13 de octubre, pero podria extenderse, como ha pasado varias veces. Durante la emergencia de salud publica federal, los estados recibieron mas fondos para Medicaid y no se les permitio dar de baja a las personas de su cobertura de Medicaid. Yager esta instando a los legisladores a hacer que las disposiciones sean permanentes.

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