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Determining Income Eligibility in Children's Health Coverage Programs: How States Use Disregards in Children's Medicaid and SCHIP

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Donna C. Ross; Aleya Horn; Robin Rudowitz; Caryn Marks

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for children)

Keywords: Economic projections; Health insurance; Economic inequality; Income diversity

Type: Report

Abstract:

Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are important sources of health coverage for children in working families. Currently, 44 states, including the District of Columbia, cover children in families with income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line ($42,400 per year for a family of four in 2008) or higher. The most recent data show that the vast majority of children in Medicaid and SCHIP--75 percent--are in families with at least one worker.3 Many low-income workers are not offered health insurance through their employers, or coverage for dependents is not available or is too expensive. Thus, Medicaid and SCHIP provide critical help by making health coverage affordable for families whose incomes are insufficient to enable them to purchase health insurance on their own.