Health care access for children plays a critical role in healthy development. Children need continuous health care coverage to ensure they receive timely access to immunizations, developmental screenings, and preventative services.
In 2002, children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were considered continually eligible for 6 months, which decreased the likelihood that low-income children would maintain consistent health insurance coverage. This created many issues for families causing them to move on and off health care coverage, further producing poor health outcomes for children. We need to continue to help children and their families gain and maintain access to health insurance.
Today, Senator Avery introduced a bill (LB 220) regarding changes to children’s eligibility relating to Medicaid. This bill addresses the idea that we should return continuous eligibility back to 12 months (as it was prior to 2002). Not only will help children receive the timely care they need, but it will decrease the administrative burden for both families and the Department of Health and Human services.
Voices for Children believes that every child in the state should have ongoing access to quality, affordable health care. By reinstating 12-month continuous eligibility, we can ensure the health care access that is critical to healthy development, educational performance, and long-term success of our children.