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healthcare

Enrollment still open for Medicaid and CHIP

The Children’s Dental Health Project was founded in 1997 with the principle goal of implementing the then-optional dental benefit in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). As more than a decade has passed and CDHP’s mission has grown, so too has dental coverage for children. Thanks to the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization of 2009 (CHIPRA), dental coverage is now mandatory for all state CHIP programs and more than 8 million enrolled children have affordable dental coverage. Like many children’s health organizations, we have expanded our mission to guarantee similar successes in Marketplace dental coverage for children under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As ACA continues to dominate health policy discussions, Medicaid and CHIP steadily provide the coverage necessary for many working families to stay healthy to attend school and work.

Making Mom’s Day: Health Insurance for the Family

As a mom of two young boys, I know that one of the biggest issues held near and dear to every mother’s heart is ensuring that her children and family are healthy and happy. I also know that taking care of myself and making sure I stay healthy is important for keeping the family running smoothly. Moms truly are the CEOs of most families, particularly when it comes to health care. In fact, a forthcoming Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows that moms take responsibility for managing their children’s health needs more than 70% of the time, for example, by choosing a doctor, taking them to appointments, and making sure they get follow-up care. Moms also are the main members of the household who take care of kids when they are sick, often having to miss work to do so.  

Moms know how important regular health care is for making sure their children stay healthy and can succeed and thrive in school, sports, and other activities. Parents too benefit from regular screenings and preventive care. Silent health problems, such as hypertension and diabetes, often go unnoticed without routine check-ups.

My Hoosier Healthwise Story

About 5 years ago I had a job as a real estate agent.  Like most real estate agents, I worked as a private contractor and health insurance was not available through my company.  I went to a private insurance agency and since I had a pre-existing condition, the insurance plans that were available to my family were over $500 per month.  This was unaffordable.  Even though I was concerned about my own healthcare, I was more concerned about my daughter.  I wanted to be sure that my daughter received the services she needed like annual check-ups, dental cleanings, vision checks, vaccinations, and the ability to see a doctor if she got sick.  I didn’t have the money to pay for an expensive insurance plan, but I also didn’t have the money to pay for an emergency room bill if things got really bad.  I didn’t know what to do and I was worried.

Health Coverage: Many Moms, Children, and Families May Still be Eligible to Enroll

This month we celebrate Mother’s Day. And here at Families USA, we can think of no better way to honor moms everywhere than by making sure moms, their children, and their families have access to affordable health coverage. This year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health coverage is available to more moms and the people they care about than ever before.

Luckily, even though the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period has ended, enrollment for Medicaid and CHIP doesn’t end with open enrollment. That means eligible moms, dads, and their children can still sign up for coverage. That’s a perfect reason to celebrate this Mother’s Day!

The Best Mother’s Day Gift for Mom: Healthy Children

Medicaid is Still Open for Business

The big news in Illinois this month is that enrollments into new health care options under the Affordable Care Act from October 1, 2013 – April 15, 2014 topped the half million mark.  More than 217,000 people enrolled in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace and even more – 287,000 enrolled into the new Medicaid expansion. The latest Gallup poll is shoring up these enrollment numbers with related data: the U.S. uninsured rate continued to drop to its lowest monthly rate since January 2008.

Mother’s Day, Like Medicaid, Should Be Year Round

Over 2 million young adults (18-34) now have coverage – many were able to stay on their parent’s plan – and this Mother’s Day we should take the time to thank the ones who helped make this happen. It’s no secret that Mothers, Mamas, and Care Givers everywhere helped ensure their families knew about the deadline to enroll in health coverage during the first open enrollment period. Our Get Covered America team met women across the country in search of information they could share with their families.  During phone banks, it was not unusual to have mothers stop the call and bring their sons or daughters to the phone to make sure they had what they needed to get covered.

Medicaid Means Healthy Kids and Bright Futures

When it comes to children’s health, every parent knows that the early years are crucial. President Lyndon B. Johnson echoed that sentiment when he pushed to expand the Medicaid program to focus on children’s health more than 40 years ago.

Despite getting more children health insurance coverage, not every child in America has the same chance at a healthy future. Low-income children are more likely to have problems affecting their behavioral development, vision, hearing, and oral health—all situations that can affect how children learn, play and grow. Low-income children of color are disproportionately affected, as they are more likely than other children to suffer from a range of health problems, including developmental delay, lead poisoning, dental caries, and asthma.  

Clearly, low-income children need access to routine preventive services and treatment of detected problems. This is where Medicaid comes in.  

Healthy Kids Make Better Learners

The School-Based Health Alliance serves as the national voice for school-based health centers (SBHCs), and our mission is to improve the health status of children and youth by advancing and advocating for school-based health care.

While our mission is focused on access to health care in school, our vision is that all children and adolescents are healthy and achieving at their fullest potential. One of the best ways to fulfill this vision is to ensure all children have health insurance. That’s why we are joining with the Connecting Kids to Coverage Campaign and Moms Rising during this Blog Carnival. It is vital for families to know that they can enroll in Medicaid and CHIP year-round. Increased insurance enrollment improves the sustainability of the health system for vulnerable children and teens, and strengthens the ability of health care providers—including SBHCs—to serve their communities.

How the ACA Helps Low-Income Parents – and Children – Succeed

A few weeks ago, President Obama announced that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) exchanges; 28 percent (about 2.2 million) were between ages 18 and 34.  But also important for young adults is the opportunity to sign up for Medicaid, which provides health care for low-income people and, unlike the exchanges, does not have a deadline.  

Within this group is a large number of low-income parents—and the correspondingly large number of young children whose early life is shaped by these parents' caregiving. For example, a national sample of infants found that half of the babies living in poverty had mothers age 24 or under and another one-fifth to one-quarter had mothers between 25 and 29.

Meeting these mothers’ -- and fathers’ -- physical and mental health needs can help them succeed in school, in job training, in the workplace, and as parents. 

Celebrating Mother’s Day with CHIP

How about a Mother’s Day gift of one less thing to worry about? The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid are there for families still without health insurance, and there’s no enrollment date to worry about. Children and teens up to age 18 – expecting mothers and parents too! – may be eligible for this free or low-cost care. So Mom can rest easy on her special day knowing the kids are getting regular checkups, lifesaving immunizations, doctor and dentists visits, emergency care, and more.

A Pennsylvania mother whose three sons are enrolled in CHIP thanks the coverage for the “perfect” care her twins received when they were born premature:

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