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Out in the Cold: Enrollment Freezes in Six State Children's Health Insurance Programs Withhold Coverage from Eligible Children

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Publication Date: January 2004

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

Author(s): Donna Cohen Ross; Laura Cox

Funder(s): Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Funder(s): Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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

Topic: Health (Health services for children)

Keywords: Economic projections; Health insurance; Health care costs; Economic inequality

Type: Report

Coverage: Florida Maine Maine Maine Maine Colorado

Abstract:

Facing budget pressures, six states — Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Montana, and Utah — have stopped enrolling eligible children in their State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP). As a result, tens of thousands of eligible low-income children are going without health insurance.

The SCHIP freezes mark a threat to the nation’s recent progress in providing health coverage to low-income children. Between 1997 (when SCHIP was created) and 2002, increased enrollment of low-income children in SCHIP and Medicaid caused the share of low-income children who are uninsured to fall by one third. Close to 4 million children receive coverage through SCHIP. However, roughly 6.8 million low-income children remain uninsured.