Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

States Given Greater Flexibility in Children's Health Insurance Program. (Recent Health Care Developments)

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

States Given Greater Flexibility in Children's Health Insurance Program. (Recent Health Care Developments)

Article excerpt

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a regulation aimed at providing health coverage to more children in the United States. The rule gives States increased flexibility under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide coverage and enables States to use streamlined enrollment procedures.

The SCHIP covers more than 3 million children who would otherwise not have health insurance. Created by Congress in August 1997, the program is a Federal-State partnership that provides health insurance for America's low-income, uninsured children. The law pledges $40 billion in Federal funds over 10 years to help States find, enroll, and insure children whose families earn too much to be eligible for traditional Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance plans.

The regulation amends some of the requirements that would have been imposed on States under a version published January 11, 2001. HHS delayed the effective date of the rule to review its provisions and make appropriate changes, which are included in the new version.

The changes promote greater State flexibility in order to encourage States to develop approaches that address the needs of children and families in their States. …

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