Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Maryland Expansion of State Children's Health Insurance Program Approved

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Maryland Expansion of State Children's Health Insurance Program Approved

Article excerpt

A proposal by Maryland to further expand its State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide health coverage to thousands of children who otherwise would lack coverage was recently approved by HHS.

State officials expect this expansion of their SCHIP program to cover an additional 19,600 currently uninsured children, in addition to the 61,500 already covered.

Maryland is eligible to receive over $56 million in funds for fiscal year 2000. SCHIP is historic, bipartisan legislation signed in 1997 by President Clinton. The SCHIP law appropriates $24 billion over 5 years to help States expand health coverage to children whose families earn too much for traditional Medicaid, yet not enough to afford private health insurance. Maryland, like all States with SCHIP plans, will receive Federal matching funds only for actual expenditures to insure children.

SCHIP gives States three options for devising a plan to cover uninsured children: designing a new program; expanding current Medicaid programs; or a combination of both strategies. HHS must approve any amendment to a State's SCHIE

Maryland's initial SCHIP plan, a Medicaid expansion, was approved on July 29, 1998. After initial approval of its plan, Maryland also created a separate SCHIP for a new group of uncovered children. …

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