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Improving Health Insurance Coverage for American Indian Children and Families under Healthy Families (SCHIP)

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Publication Date: June 2002

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): Delight E. Satter; Steven P. Wallace; Trang M. Le; Andrea Zubiate

Funder(s): California Program on Access to Care

Funder(s): California Program on Access to Care

Topic: Health (Health services for minorities)

Keywords: American Indian; Alaska Natives; coverage

Type: Report

Coverage: California


More American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) reside in California than any other single state in the United States; Los Angeles is home to the largest number of AIAN in the country. In 1997 the federal government initiated the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP – called Healthy Families in CA). In 2000 federal regulations were amended to exempt AIAN children from any SCHIP cost sharing. Since the California waiver implementation date there has been no significant change in the rate of AIAN enrollment. This study examined the policy and implementation barriers for AIAN children to obtain Healthy Families coverage. The principal research methods focused on: (a) a review of administrative data; (b) the development of eligibility estimates of the AIAN population; and (c) key informant interviews with AIAN-health serving institutions, health care providers (including urban, rural, and non-Indian clinics), the Healthy Families administrative unit (MRMIB), Department of Health Services (DHS), and health insurance plans.