Health Care Reform for Children with Public Coverage: How Can Policymakers Maximize Gains and Prevent Harm?

Health Care Reform for Children with Public Coverage: How Can Policymakers Maximize Gains and Prevent Harm?

This brief examines the potential effects of health care reform on the more than 25 million children who currently have coverage under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Increased parental coverage will help these children since many have uninsured parents with unmet health needs. However, proposals to move these children into a new health insurance exchange could make them worse off through the potential loss of benefits and legal protections and possible exposure to higher cost-sharing; alternatively, if reimbursement rates are higher in the exchange than paid under Medicaid and CHIP, children's access to providers could improve.

Centers

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